During the Brexit referendum, Stuart Rose, the former boss of Marks & Spencer, and chair of the Remain campaign, claimed that if Britain left the EU, wages ‘will go up’. This was, he added, in a rare moment of candour, ‘not necessarily a good thing’.
But the idea that salaries might rise was exactly the reason that a great many people voted for Brexit. They were well aware that it suits the likes of Lord Rose to keep wages low, and they resented it.
It is now nine months since Brexit’s transitional arrangements came to an end, completing the UK’s break with Brussels and Stuart Rose’s prediction has come true — spectacularly so. Wages are rising at the fastest rate in decades. Last week, Costa coffee raised the pay of its staff by 5 per cent, which in the current climate may not be enough to keep many of them.