Pessimistic civil servants are cooking the books – Patrick Minford

Commenting on the leaked Government analysis dismissing the benefits of trade deals, Professor Patrick Minford, Chairman of the Economists for Free Trade, said:

“The continued leaks from Whitehall sources about the results of civil servants’ latest modelling attempts is, sadly, a continuation of Project Fear’s effort to paint Brexit as a damage limitation exercise. 

“The real story is, if Government policy as announced at Lancaster House is input to any of these models, a positive result is achieved – two per cent GDP growth on the model likely used by the civil servants’ analysis and four per cent GDP growth on our model. A properly constructed gravity model yields similar results.

“This latest piece of Civil Service analysis patently ignores the vast opportunities to be gained from pursuing a proper, independent free trade policy and is an attempt to cook the books and portray Brexit as a curse, not a blessing – just at the moment the Cabinet subcommittee is meeting.

“Our figures, using the correct methodology and an economic model suited to free trade, show that harnessing free trade would boost the UK economy by four per cent in the long term, while a clean departure from the EU and moving away from a restrictive, protectionist economic strategy could boost the UK economy by up to £135 billion.

“90 per cent of future growth is set to occur outside the EU, and if Government policy is cowed by Whitehall’s relentless negativity, our economy will miss out on the opportunities of global free trade.”

ENDS

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