UK Chancellor Wants To Turn Country Into ‘The Singapore Of Europe’ After Brexit

From a sleepy fishing village to one of the most economically successful cosmopolitan cities, Singapore has come a long way.

Now, it seems we’ve even become a model for some to emulate our success.

On Sunday (17 Jan), Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the United Kingdom, expressed that he wants to turn UK into the ‘Singapore of Europe’ in the wake of Brexit.

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Without the shackles of bureaucracy, UK now looks towards greater investments and a low-tax, low-regulation economy.

UK hopes to be Singapore-style investment hub for Europe

On Sunday (17 Jan), the headline ‘Let’s Make Britain the Singapore of Europe!’ splashed across the frontpage of UK newspaper Daily Mail.

UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak told Daily Mail that the country hopes to emulate Singapore as they prepare to reform the country after their separation from the European Union (EU).

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Mr Sunak, was appointed by Prime Minister (PM) Boris Johnson to lead the Better Regulation Committee that will carve out new business prospects for a post-Brexit UK.

This committee will look at big infrastructure projects as well as developing science and technology projects.

They also hope to provide more help for small businesses.

The country hopes that with free regulations, they can now transform into a Singapore-style hub, and ultimately, overtake France and Germany in the “battle” for international investments.

Notion of Singapore-on-Thames

The comparison between Singapore and a post-Brexit UK is not a new one.

In fact, for years now, the notion of ‘Singapore-on-Thames’ has been used to describe a post-Brexit UK with a low-tax, low-regulation economy.

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Such an economic model will benefit their financial services industry in particular, which accounts for more than 10% of UK’s economic output, reported Daily Mail.

While Singapore’s booming economy has been a draw for the Brexit argument early on, it also has its fair share of detractors.

This includes PM Lee, who back in 2018, noted that UK and Singapore have vastly different histories and social systems.

For that reason, it is difficult to draw parallels between Singapore’s separation from Malaysia and UK’s separation from the EU.

Speaker Tan Chuan-Jin says we have a lot to be proud of

The article by the Daily Mail also caught the eye of MP Tan Chuan-Jin.

On Sunday (17 Jan), he shared the newspaper article on his Facebook.

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Reflecting on the headline, he said that there’s much that Singapore can improve on. But there is also so much we can be proud of.

Mr Tan shared his gratefulness towards our country and Singaporeans for simply “being who we are”.

A testament to how far Singapore has come

It might be debatable whether Singapore is a viable model for UK to emulate.

But, the fact that our economic model has been heralded as such is a testament to the tremendous progress we’ve made as a country and that in itself is something to take heart in.

What do you think of the UK-Singapore comparison? Let us know in the comments down below.

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Featured image adapted from Unsplash and Facebook.