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The Editors

The UK Risks Entering a New Era of Economic Decline

Britain has enough problems without labor unrest adding to the threat of persistent stagflation.

Just like the good old days.

Just like the good old days.

Photographer: Jeff Mitchell/Getty Images

Echoes of the 1970s and early 1980s are impossible to ignore in the UK at the moment. On top of supply-side shocks, sputtering growth, unsustainable public finances and soaring prices, labor unrest is also staging a comeback. Last week, strikes shut down the country’s railway system and brought the London Underground to a halt. Other unions are planning strikes of their own in a threatened “summer of discontent.”

All that’s bad enough — but this return to the dysfunction of five decades ago has been happening alongside the still-unfolding consequences of Brexit. It’s a perilous juncture. The unions need to think hard before Britain finds itself entering a new era of economic decline.