Wednesday 9 October 2019

'No, Brexit hasn't made the UK economy £60 billion smaller than if we'd voted to Remain'

Economics is not what interests me, nor do I really understand it, but this is important enough for me to blog about. 

Someone called Paul Johnson, director of something called the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said on the BBC Radio Four programme Today yesterday that the British economy is £60 billion smaller than it would have been had we voted to remain in the EU. 

£60 billion is a lot. £60 billion here and £60 billion there and soon you are talking about serious money.

It turns out, though, that it is not true - all is explained in this article by Ross Clark.

The UK performed well compared with European countries, 'despite Brexit' as the BBC would say. We performed much worse than the USA, but this is because Donald Trump's election victory made the US economy spring up. 

The lesson is that electing right-wing governments encourages economic growth.

I think we can all guess how Paul Johnson voted in the Brexit referendum. 


  1. Well, the U.K. won't save 350 million pounds a week by leaving the EU either. Leave also fed voters plenty of porkie pies.

    1. The words on the Leave 'battlebus' were: “We send the EU £350m a week” and they were true. No-one denies this. They were probably misleading. Turkey is supposed to join the EU and may well do so in a couple of decades. Andrew Neil ripped apart the manikin Matt Hancock's claim that 70% of Norwegian law is made in the EU.

    2. Talking of things that are not true, if you do not feel like watching the link I just posted above, in that very funny interview Andrew Neil demolished the government's argument about what would happen if Britain left the EU and adopted the Norwegian model. A Foreign Office analysis had claimed 75% of EU law had to be adopted by Norway.

      "What's that figure based on?" Neil asked.
      Hancock replied: "That's based on this Foreign Office analysis."
      "But what's that figure based on?"
      "Well, it's based on what happens in Norway."

      Neil told Hancock independent statistics showed just 9% of EU law had been adopted by Norway. "Where does 75% come from?" he asked.

      And when pressed as to how Switzerland, which is outside the EU, was able to export more per capita than the UK despite being outside the union, Hancock offered up the explanation that Switzerland was "physically much closer".

    3. “We send the EU £350m a week” was a brilliant idea of Dominic Cummings because it predictably aroused sustained fury and meant everyone talked right through the campaign about the huge sums we sent the EU.


  2. 'The lesson is that electing right-wing governments encourages economic growth'..probably the most boring thing you've ever said, Paul.
    Obviously the above Johnson is a TRAITOR AND SHOULD BE EXECUTED.

    1. I agree with your first sentence. It was indeed the most boring thing I have ever said on this blog and makes me sound like a normal Tory.
      I have never been a Thatcherite but the sudden boost to the US economy when the market saw Donald Trump had won and correctly expected much less regulation and lower taxes showed once more that these things boost an economy. I admit that, back in the early 1980s when I was a left-wing Tory, like many people I did not know low taxes would have this effect.

      Back in those days you supported a Labour Party led by Michael Foot that was pledged to take the UK OUT of the EEC. Why was the EEC bad then and wanting to leave the EU treason now?

  3. The lesson is that electing right-wing governments encourages economic growth.

    How much of the economic growth that we keep hearing about is real? Do any of these economic statistics actually mean anything?

    How come when we have economic growth we don't seem to be any better off? We've had lots of economic growth in Australia since the days of the right-wing Hawke-Keating governments but things that really matter to real people in the real world, like housing, seem to be much less affordable.

    Is it possible that we're being lied to?

    1. On Vital Statistics by Hilaire Belloc:

      Ill fares the land to hast'ning ills a prey (1)
      Where wealth accumulates and men decay.'
      But how much more unfortunate are those
      Where wealth declines and population grows!

      (1)This line is execrable; and I note it.
      I quote it as the faulty poet wrote it.

  4. Under Bill Clinton in the US growth was also very impressive (and the wealth was more equally shared).

    1. Yes this is true. Looking back now, he was much better than his successors but did from a conservative point of view a huge amount of harm. On September 10, 2001 he told a gathering in Australia that he dreamt of a borderless world. The harm done by American Democrats like Woodrow Wilson and LBJ is incalculable, but as an Englishman I am grateful to FDR for coming to the UK's aid in 1941 and to Truman for leaving troops in Europe. Reagan and Bush 2, but certainly not Bush 1, were Democrats when it came to foreign policy.