In the 18 months following the Brexit referendum, the forecasts from the Treasury, the Bank of England, the IMF, and the OECD were proven wrong.
The predicted recession, higher unemployment and a list of other calamities did not happen.
Nobel Prize winning economist professor Paul Krugman described the analysis from the Project Fear propagandists as “intellectual slumming”. Professor Patrick Minford of Economists for Free Trade (who is, in my humble opinion, the leading economist and best economic forecaster in this country) has demonstrated how the supposed “independent” economic modelling from the Treasury is just a case of “garbage in, garbage out”.
Civil servants got the answers that their political bosses wanted. The Treasury officials and other forecasters assumed that upon Brexit we would adopt the EU’s high tariff levels and retain the EU’s expensive set of regulations, whereas of course the whole point of Brexit is to escape all of this.
The best trade policy is unilateral free trade that allows us to set our own deals where the action is.
About half of this year’s growth in the global economy comes from emerging Asian economies. Some 12 per cent of our economy is trade with the EU, and only eight per cent of firms sell directly to the EU’s Single Market – but 100 per cent of the economy is subject to EU regulation.
Half of UK trade is already on WTO terms, and it is worth noting that trade in data and other services, where we have an £80bn surplus is, greater than trade in widgets. In that sense, the world is our oyster.
Beijing, not Brussels, is where it’s at. Even the European Commission itself acknowledges that 90 per cent of global trade growth is expected to come outside of the EU.
To read Neil MacKinnon’s piece for City A.M. in full, click here.