Sixteen senior economists have today said that a clean Brexit will enable Britain to break free from the EU’s shackles and “destructive policies” that have held back the British economy.
In a new report, they slam the EU as a “comparative economic failure” and warned remaining members of the bloc that their economic prospects are hindered by “cack-handed” decisions made in Brussels.
The damning critique comes from economist Roger Bootle, an adviser to the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee for 20 years, who has authored this latest extract from the Economists for Free Trade report, ‘From Project Fear to Project Prosperity’.
In an extraordinary broadside aimed at the EU institutions, Mr Bootle, now chairman of Europe’s largest macroeconomics consultancy, Capital Economics, says the EU’s dreadful economic management has created an “unmitigated disaster” in mainland Europe.
Writing in the paper, Mr Bootle says the reason for the EU’s consistent weak economic performance is down to “a series of bad decisions”.
The paper identifies the European obsession with integration and harmonisation as the major factor behind the EU’s poor economic performance.
It says that the major underlying factor in the EU’s dire performance was the “absorption of the time and attention of politicians, officials and business leaders with barmy plans for the harmonization, integration and Europeanization of something or other”.
Roger Bootle commented:
“While the leaders of the rapidly growing countries of Asia were busying themselves with the fundamentals of economic growth, in Europe their equivalents were obsessed with unnecessary and damaging integrations.
“Unshackled from the EU and its destructive policies, there is every chance that the UK will enjoy a faster rate of economic growth – faster than it enjoyed in the past while a member, and faster than the remaining members in the future.”
Mr Bootle also criticises the “excessive regulatory zeal” which has significantly hindered business and “the widely acknowledged misuse of the EU’s funds”.
The paper is the second in the ‘From Project Fear to Project Prosperity’ report by Economists for Free Trade, a 16-strong group of leading economic experts. The group launched the new project last week with an introduction by Professor Patrick Minford – with the full report set for publication in the Autumn.
Mr Bootle also uses his section on governance and regulation to say the benefits of the single market have been “greatly oversold”.
“By contrast, the downside to the Single Market is that you have to apply all its rules and regulations throughout the whole economy.
“In the UK’s case, about 12% of our GDP is directly accounted for by exports to the EU. This means that some 88% is not. Yet that 88% must also obey all the EU’s rules.”
He dismisses the Remainer view of the Single Market – that it is “some sort of room, with a door through which you may or may not be admitted, depending upon your membership” – as nonsense because all countries in the world have access to the Single Market.
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