The above is subject to three provisos:
1. It applies only to the bulk of the UK population outside a region bounded by Oxford, Cambridge and London — with six of the world’s top universities — which is already a viable regional economy and may well survive and possibly thrive in future decades;
2. The recent launch of Free Schools may, if there are enough of them and of the quality of the grammar schools that the Labour government of the 1960s scrapped in the name of egalitarianism, redeem the atrocious results of state schools of the last 130 years. As it is these days, we have a country which has an almost static social mobility. This means that innumerable bright children and students never get anywhere near the socio-political elite that takes all the important national decisions.
3. By some quirk, although the UK has lost its potential excellence in almost all sectors of the world economy, we are still moderately well represented by research in the biological sciences. We still make discoveries on a par with Germany and America. As medicine is already a growth sector in advanced countries, and as more genetic diseases are dealt with and better quality children become more widely available to parents (by excluding deleterious mutations) in the coming decades, then our biological expertise might be enough to reverse our present economic decline.
The rot started in the 1850s when the UK almost completely lost its lead in science and engineering to Germany and America. This involved some hard-to-understand strong cultural reaction by the descendants of the original entrepreneurs and industrialist of the 1800s which has deeply affected our universities, business, civil service and politics and still saturate us with political correctness.