CBI says improving outlook for second quarter as pound rises on better polls for leave campaign

The latest manufacturing trends survey and forecast from the CBI are at variance with the doom laden nonsense from some of the Remain campaigners.

The CBI states that  “Firms’  outlook for the upcoming quarter is a little firmer. Both output and demand are expected to grow, with the latter underpinned by strong expectations for export orders. Looking to the year ahead , manufacturers’ plans for investment in buildings and in plant and machinery are at robust levels. Stronger investment intentions were primarily driven by chemicals and food and drink manufacturers… With the expected pick up in exports it’s likely that firms will be looking to increase capital expenditure”.

The first quarter in the UK produced slower growth as in all the major economies. The second quarter is anticipated to be better by the CBI member firms, with a likely increase in construction and more exports and investment. The leading car firms based here in the UK have announced five years plans for additional investment. None of this is contingent on the UK staying in the EU. It is interesting that the CBI did not mention Brexit as a second quarter dampener in its summary forecast for second quarter manufacturing.

 

As the poll gap between Remain and Leave has narrowed in recent days sterling has risen. The Remain campaign have gone strangely quiet on the pound, which they said fell over Brexit fears when a Brexit win was less likely according to the polls. Now it is more likely shouldn’t Remain comment on the strength of the pound? Maybe markets have worked out how the UK balance of payments improves once we stop making all those EU contributions.

Sterling went below $1.39 on February 26th and rose to $1.45 yesterday. Sterling reached a low of 1.23 Euro early this month and reached 1.28 Euros yesterday on better polls for leave.

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61 Comments

  1. Posted April 28, 2016 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    Business people have probably recognised that not much will change for them if we leave the EU. Why should it the EU will find a way to carry on trading with us as it is in our mutual interest to do so. I suspect at the end of the day we will have to opt for something like the Norway option as the EU is very protectionist so will not allow the UK to be able to undercut them because we have better rules and regulations.

    Businesses probably also recognise that there will be greater opportunities to trade with the rest of the world outside of the EU. Everyone wins if we leave except the EU as we can get back to governing ourselves and not have to prop up pauper states and the dysfunctional EU.

    • Posted April 28, 2016 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      Greece pleading for a meeting of EU leaders because of its dire finances, again, refused until after Brexit. The only offer being finance ministers in the next two weeks otherwise until after Brexit! How much is the UK on the hook for this time? It will affect economies because of a failing Euro, but will it be mentioned? Dutch referendum not allowed to be discussed, Austrian election result not discussed or published, Sweden’s soaring immigration crime rate causing civil unrest not reported, immigration figures not allowed to be published by the govt.

      Cameron giving away billions to help Turkey to join the EU when people are forced to sale their homes to pay for care in their old age. Billions given away by Cameron as an additional charge for being in the EU. How many other issues suppressed from the media to prevent the public making an informed choice?

      In the event remain wins will there be a severe cull to the 1500 politicians that we do not need? Certainly there is no need for patronage to the govt of the day to get a wage for life in the Lords, they have not real role to fulfil. No need for 640 MPs, about 50 at most.

      • Posted April 28, 2016 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

        I am glad Mr Jenkins had the fortitude to raise how Cameron is changing his manifesto policy to get money from the unions to support staying in the EU. What sort of person sales their policy, in other occasions claiming the public mandate, in such a way and in contrast to what they say to get elected? You really need to sack Cameron he will not e around at next election, why is your party allowing him to destroy it for the benefit of the EU? You cannot believe a word Cameron says, no ifs or buts about it. In case you did not read it, Heseltine is still convinced the UK will join the Euro in the future. The same person advising Osborne to regionalise our country for the EU superstate and to force mayors upon us.

      • Posted April 28, 2016 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

        Hope, As I read this comment from you I have Question Time on in the background and they are all talking about the lies and cover ups that were instigated by both the police, media and politicians over Hillsborough. Not so different to the same behaviour by our politicians and media today with the EU referendum. The majority of the public are under the impression that everything is lovely in Europe at the moment but nothing could be further from the truth. Everything will become apparent if we vote to stay in this corrupt club.

        • Posted April 29, 2016 at 7:22 am | Permalink

          Where is the politician admitting guilt that he authorized the FA to put barriers to stop yobs invading the pitch? The same barriers that prevented the crowd spilling on the pitch rather than being crushed? Where is the politician to admit crowd behaviour at that time was terrible which required barriers to be put up? Why was there so many people trying to enter the ground at such a late time? Too many unanswered questions for me, the facts appeared to have changed over time. These people should not have died, nevertheless there should be balance and fairness in finding the true facts.

  2. Posted April 28, 2016 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    These are good points JR, which Vote Leave should use if they’re ever going to regain control of the ‘economic case’ for leaving.

    Latest detailed polling shows that people think of the Leave side’s economic competence in a similar way to their views of Ed Miliband’s at the last election. Maybe we exaggerate slightly, but not much.

    Once again we tackle this head on at http://facts4eu.org/news.htm with a short piece that gets straight to the point. Despite decades of economists and EU bureaucrats working on it, and thousands of quadratic equations written, no-one can show that the EU has made a blind bit of difference to our growth rates.

    We’ve shown this in graphic form – hope you like it. If your readers want to comment on that piece they can do so on our site.

    • Posted April 28, 2016 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      Not sure about that graph.

      What’s the dotted line at about 2% – average ?

      Is there a way of showing (somehow) what growth would have been outside of the EU (EEC)?

    • Posted April 28, 2016 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      But probably not if they are mobile.

      This website is not designed for modern browsing. I understand that money is probably tight but the younger voter who needs these facts will land and then navigate away sharpish.

  3. Posted April 28, 2016 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Apart from a few currency speculators banking on day-trading fake panics on the Pound, how could there be major substantive fluctuations of the exchange rate? Nothing will happen for two years after a Leave vote.
    However, anyone choosing a future Cabinet could make a list of all MPs and cross off their names when they spoke in such terms unless they have ambitions to be Minister of Daft Talk where even a basic knowledge of economics is not a must. A Labour MP had his question answered recently regarding the implications or possibility of a 10% reduction in the value of the Pound after Brexit. The BoE replied that it could not confirm that the Pound necessarily would take such a prolonged dive if any after Brexit.

    I know Remainers are often playfully chided for their expressed pessimism about the UK and lack of belief in their country. They follow their Party lines of course like ducks walking to market but even so they do seem to lack personal mustard. Were they born to British parents in former outposts of the British Empire and could not pick up the BBC World Service? They seem to lack the life and breath and personal confidence of we British. They appear somewhat otherworldly and in private moments probably make startlingly jerky movements at sight of their own shadows.

    • Posted April 28, 2016 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      I think you will find that “born to British parents in former outposts of the British Empire and could not pick up the BBC World Service” gives you a bit more gumption and courage than the average stay at home – I descend from a long lineage of colonials who cut through the jungle in various parts of the world and we would pull up our shorts, cock our hat and point the rifle at the average remainer…having said that I’m still doing my ‘colonial’ thing…living in Hong Kong because the UK is part of that evil empire…

  4. Posted April 28, 2016 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Project Remain needs Project Fear to turn bad news to its own advantage by claiming it is all the fault of Project Leave. This is rubbish. But talking rubbish, it seems, is not a handicap when trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the voters.

    So how about removing that wool and revealing the Faceless Five – the Five Presidents’ whom no one could name and no one would recognise? We need the Leave campaign to expose us all to who they and what they intend. They have set out their vision of the future of the EU in their Report and the UKs place in it. This is what voters need to know; not the Cameron cover up.

    • Posted April 28, 2016 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      Or here’s an idea. Seeing as how the PM is intent on wheeling out foreign speakers, how about inviting our real friends, like Aussies and Kiwis to come and explain why they would like us to leave. I’m sure millions of people have family in those countries and would identify far more with their wishes and concerns than those of American corporations and banks.

      • Posted April 28, 2016 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

        Good point. Seeing that the Kiwis have just voted to keep the Union flag in theirs, one suspects that the Kiwi majority have no wish to see the UK submerged into irrelevance within an EU superstate. Ditto the Aussies who unquestioningly retain the Union flag. Neither of them would ever admit it, but scratch them and you find a British patriot with a profound and natural respect for their ancestry. The abolition of Britain would see both nations in shock.

  5. Posted April 28, 2016 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    The betting odds on Brexit have fallen back after the blip of Obama’s intervention but you can still get 5/2 odds on Brexit.

    I do not really understand how anyone can think that the UK will, in the medium to long term, be better off being anti-democratically ruled from Brussels and paying them a huge for for this. This rather than being in democratically in control of our own destiny, our government, our immigration, our industry, our fishing, our energy, our regulation, our trade agreements and everything else.

    Being nimble and quick to act in your own interest is vital. Does anyone think that the EU is nimble? The EU is after all not even trying to act in the UK’s interests, quite the reverse in general, even if it could ever be made nimble.

    Brussels, as we have seen, has made a complete mess of everything it has touched. Fishing, CAP, the ERM, the EURO, energy, migration, defense, the legal system….. There is of course nothing at all they do not want to interfere with now or very soon.

    How will will be better off (or safer) by having open door EU migration rather than just taking the best migrants from anywhere in the World and not tacking migrants who will be a drain on our public services or habitual criminals.

    Would any company by more efficiently managed if management were merged with thousands of other companies and it were governed from a distance by unelected people who had little or no interest in it at all?

    Should the UK vote to remain it will be treated with even more contempt by the EU. Surely the UK voters will not give up on this last chance of escape. Denied any say for about forty years will they really meekly submit to serfdom as the betting odds suggest?

    • Posted April 28, 2016 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      Excellent to see Prof Patrick Minford on the daily politics today. As he says the big hole in the remain argument (or one of them) is that they assume we will leave all the common external tariffs of the EU intact. The big gain is in lower prices by something like 20% by getting rid of these. The best policy is for unilateral free trade or something very close to it.

      LibDim, Nick Clegg seemed totally unable to follow any of this, he said he was “perplexed” I suppose he did only do Archaeology and Anthropology but it is not that hard to follow is it?

      Read the report Nick and start to think for a change.

  6. Posted April 28, 2016 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    The Remain campaign have gone strangely quiet on the pound, ‘ No surprise.

    The markets will have looked at the state of the Eurozone and concluded that once Sterling is completely divorced from Euro contingencies, it’s value is greater. Indeed, it will dawn on the markets sooner rather than later that a post-Brexit Sterling becomes a low risk proxy for the overall economic performance of the Eurozone without the systemic risk that direct exposure to the Euro implies. In short, once Brexit is achieved, Sterling will rally and establish itself as the premium European currency. British interest rates post-Brexit can be expected to trade below Euro rates in reflection of lower risk.

    Of course, if Remain prevails, Britain is still encumbered by the looming disaster of the Euro and Sterling will inevitably reflect the continuing risk. Indeed, the risk is amplified by continued membership of the EU. If EU controls of financial services are implemented, there is no reason why Sterling shouldn’t join the Euro as a basket-case currency, guilty by association.

    Well done, George.

    • Posted April 28, 2016 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      Or, it just might happen that the UK, currently having the largest Current Account (CA) deficit on the planet, “completely divorced from Euro contingencies”, as you say, will depreciate to try and reduce the “trade deficit” part of the CA. Which is what “floating currencies” are designed to do. That is, you don’t have to have large piles of other currencies, to buy your own currency, to keep its value up; or, keep it pegged to some other currency. (Refer 1992 and the UK exit from the ERM).

      The Germans are going to want to keep selling us them BMW. So they must simultaneously want to “save” in Pounds Sterling denominated assets. If they decide not to, then some BMW workers are going to get redundancy. The Euro is a much bigger currency than the Pound nowadays, about 15:1. It is not out of the question for the Germans to tell the ECB, to buy Pounds and keep its value up, so Brits can afford to keep buying them BMW.

      The UK imports far too much, if the Pound depreciates significantly, we will be importing inflation. That’s the snag when you don’t make the stuff your citizens want. Be it BMWs or Oil or Gas or Food.

      The Netherlands; Germany; Norway; Denmark; Switzerland; Sweden; Ireland have current account surpluses! Even the Euro Area has a surplus of 3.7%. The UK has a 5.2% deficit. Do you need me to spell it out for you?

      • Posted April 28, 2016 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

        ‘Do you need me to spell it out for you?’ You have. Thank you.

  7. Posted April 28, 2016 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    When the pound weakens some people on the Leave side – Greg Hands mainly – say that this shows the danger of Brexit. What he doesn’t ever explain is why a weak pound is a bad thing – it helps exports and should also help him meet his own 2% inflation target which he’s doing little enough to try to meet at the moment. Brexit arguments about the strength of the pound are spurious, it will go up and down as always – for this reason John I think you should avoid the Strong Pound = Good argument too.

  8. Posted April 28, 2016 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    The news this am talks about loss of financial sector jobs on leaving the EU. Do we believe it? We were also told that we did not have any Drs or Nurses in the late 90’s onwards, when the managers refused to employ us and brought in swarms of overseas workers. Do we believe anything ;surely what we are told is tripe.

  9. Posted April 28, 2016 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Pritti Patel interviewed this am and asked what rules we would change out of the EU. The 3 most costly from the EU are apparently the renewable energy directive, the bank capital regulations and the working time directive. We would clearly be better off without all these but Mrs Patel did not say so unfortunately. (In the case of the bank capital regs what we need is banks to be subject to recap by shareholders and creditors not regulators setting arbitrary targets). So it came down to food labelling and vacuum cleaner power levels. Not sure this will cut it. Leave need to start getting very specific about what it is about EU membership that is bad for business. Otherwise the public will vote with the majority Business view – for Remain.

    • Posted April 28, 2016 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Indeed.

  10. Posted April 28, 2016 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    It’s the same with the global warming fanatics. One of the coldest April’s for 30 years but quietly ignored.
    Despite Camerons deployment of all the good and great threatening us with plague and destruction, the Remain gang are struggling.
    I can’t wait for the next pronouncement. Maybe he will force the Queen at gunpoint to give a support speech.

  11. Posted April 28, 2016 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    On May 9 the Commons will debate the Government’s £9m referendum leaflet. I hope Leave campaigners in Parliament will seize the opportunity to give the widest publicity to the points Mr Redwood makes here, and to many others which have been ignored, distorted or shouted down in the debate so far.

  12. Posted April 28, 2016 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    If the CBI, Mr Osborne and the Remain campsters were so good at economic predictions they wouldn’t need to turn up for work at all. A few taps on their keyboards would earn them boatloads of money on Currency and Stock transactions. Yet they feel their mean MPs’ salary is worth it. Of course the Remainers say they do it not for the money but for love of Country. But for them the begging question is Yes, but which country?

  13. Posted April 28, 2016 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Fortunately for investors, your regular FT column is about ETFs and other index funds, which means you are not likely to do much harm with your present reading of the economic situation.

  14. Posted April 28, 2016 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Good news for us here.
    Please Mr Redwood can you use your political clout to get some of the Spinelli Group onto the TV to tell us their plans for the future after 24th June? I do not think they are being reported properly at the moment.

    • Posted April 28, 2016 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      Hear Hear. No one’s even heard of the Five Presidents’ Report.

  15. Posted April 28, 2016 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    I think there is a typo in the headline. Did you meant CBI rather than CBU.

  16. Posted April 28, 2016 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    The “campaign” is rather like our weather : we have had the coldest bit and can now look forward to the warmer bit . The worse thing would be – if there was any truth in the climate change lobby , that the cold bit would continue further into May , however I take heart from the progress of the seedlings my wife has prepared for planting out in a couple of weeks time – they are robust and showing all the signs she wants .

    At this time the Opinion Polls are relatively neck and neck ; the “Remains” have already fired off all their weapons and the “Brexiters” have yet to fire theirs . I trust this augers well for the way things will be in June ; by then the public will have digested all there is to know and will then be able to reach a sensible conclusion ; so far things have been too one sided .

    • Posted April 28, 2016 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      Many people complain that the Out campaign does not publicise enough the case for leaving. Whilst the reasons to leave are spelled out quite clearly in on-line publications and web-sites, and are available for anyone who wishes to seek them out, the Out campaign does not have big name establishment and business figures touting for it.

      I am thinking of the likes of Ken Clarke, John Major, Brown, Darling, Mandelson, Blair, Branson, the CBI, etc, all of whose comments attract headline attention in the mainstream and controlled media. Whilst what they spout is mostly doubtful or even downright lies the public has more of a window to the Stay campaign.

      I don’t see how this advantage can be neutralised, except, perhaps by, wherever possible, making the truth known and highlighting the inaccuracies of the Stayers’ proclamations. Maybe better brains than mine will find, in the last few weeks of the campaign, a more in-your-face means of getting our message across.

      The BBC is a criminal organisation. A mon avis.

      • Posted April 28, 2016 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

        ‘Maybe better brains than mine will find, in the last few weeks of the campaign, a more in-your-face means of getting our message across.’

        Don’t sell yourself short. This writer is convinced that help is on its way. Wait and watch, it’s going to be fun.

  17. Posted April 28, 2016 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Money exchanges are only interested in movement because currency movement equals profit. At the end of the food chain I wait until Sterling is strong against the Euro, if at all possible, before buying Euros.

    Unencumbered with EU regulation and restrictions on trade agreements the UK will thrive. At this point the EU is just another export market, which just like any other we sell goods to, if said goods are what they want. To export it is necessary to comply with market requirements, wherever the market.

    These facts are all to the good. However for the average citizen living in our cities in particular it is a question of if we truly control who can come and live in the UK we can begin to take pressure off the NHS, Schools, Transport, and Housing. If all those coming in are self financing and paying into the country through their earnings and tax then we have a system that can begin to work. Additionally we need total control of our law via Parliament. There have been additions to our law from the EU, some of it beneficial, much of it not. On Brexit these anomalies require rapid sorting. It all boils down to one word, Sovereignty. We also need to remove those from power both civil and political who would sell us for a mess of potage.

    • Posted April 29, 2016 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      Gnaeus Julius Agricola, that is exactly the opposite of what you did when you became Roman Governor of Britain in 78 AD.

      Senator Tacitus said you “wanted to accustom them [the Britons] to peace and leisure by providing delightful distractions. He gave personal encouragement and assistance to the building of temples, piazzas and town-houses, he gave the sons of the aristocracy a liberal education, they became eager to speak Latin effectively and the toga was everywhere to be seen.”

      When native aristocrats adopted a Roman lifestyle , the rulers of the empire were delighted. And so they were gradually led into the demoralising vices of porticoes, baths and grand dinner parties. The naïve Britons described these things as ‘civilisation’, when in fact they were simply part of their enslavement.’ (BBC Ancient History.)

      Is the EU destined to be a repeat of the Roman Empire!!!??? Will Agricola get his old job back? Mother! Where’s my Toga and Sandals?

  18. Posted April 28, 2016 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Off-topic, I was watching Sky News last night and I was astounded to see George Osborne tell Faisal Islam that regulations in this country are “entirely” under our control, and so there was no reason to include any potential benefits of deregulation in his analysis of the economic implications of leaving the EU.

    After all these years of the Tory party complaining about the burden of EU regulation, and even getting Tony Blair to partly agree at one point, for example in 2005:

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2005/may/26/speeches.media

    “About 50% of regulations with a significant impact on business now emanate from the EU. And it often seems to want to regulate too heavily without sufficient cause.”

    it now turns out that it is all “entirely” under our control.

    Which is technically true, if Parliament is prepared to authorise the government to break the EU treaties by disapplying EU laws, as proposed in an amendment from a decade ago that was given official Tory party support, Division No 239 at Column 945 here:

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmhansrd/vo060516/debtext/60516-0017.htm

    “New Clause 17

    DISAPPLICATION OF EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES ACT 1972 (NO. 2)”

    However putting that real but rather remote legal possibility on one side, there are many things which can legitimately be said about regulation but not that it is “entirely” under our control, and as Osborne is undoubtedly aware of that the only conclusion can be that he is prepared to lie in order to keep us in the EU.

    But then he would only be following the example of Juncker, who famously said:

    “When it becomes serious, you have to lie”.

    • Posted April 28, 2016 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Why are you surprised that Osborne is lying? After all his lips were moving. Osborne even maintains he is keeping his IHT promise of years ago when he is doing no such thing. He also pretended that landlords deduction of legitimate interest costs gave them some unfair advantage another lie that mugs tenants. Osborne has increased taxes hand over fist, while pretending not to, and yet still has a massive PSBR deficit and a record trade deficit.

      Project fear is nothing but a pack of (usually) state funded lies on a biased playing field.

      Osborne takes the voters for complete mugs. Vote Brexit and be rid of him. Giving the economy a further additional boost in the process.

      Mrs May even says “we have control of our borders’.

      Cameron gave us a “Cast Iron Guarantee” and says he is a “low tax Conservative at heart” two lies even in one five words phrase.

      They are claim we will have to accept migration and pay a fee in order to trade!

      Osborne and Cameron’s jobs depend on there being a remain vote. They have no compunction about lying endlessly and it will get far worse.

  19. Posted April 28, 2016 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Post a Brexit vote, and after the dust settles, the UK will be far more credit worthy as:

    It will be a democracy again and able to act in its own interest.
    It will be safer and can actually control its borders.
    It will not pay a huge fee to the EU
    It can have a bonfire of EU and other red tape.
    It will be outside the EURO bailout disaster area.
    It can move to cheap energy.
    Government can be quicker and nimbler and act in the UKs interests.
    It can take only the best migrants from anywhere it chooses.
    It can make its own trade agreements in its own interests.

    Above all the ecomomically illiterate George Osborne will be gone hopefully with his job destroying wage controls, his record trade deficit, his huge deficit, his IHT ratting, his massive tax increases, his work place pension, his pension muggings, his failure to understand the Lafer curve, his tenant muggings, his bonkers sugar tax and his tax borrow and piss down the drain agenda all gone. Getting rid of Osborne alone makes a Brexit vote worth it and the country far more credit worthy, he is an incompetent menace to the economy.

    • Posted April 28, 2016 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Not to mention his totally counterproductive attacks on Non Doms, insurance premiums, house buyers, enveloped dwellings, personal allowances, pensions, child benefits and the hard working.

      What is the point of a law preventing the low paid from working by law? Perhaps he could explain? In what way does this increase in unemployment help the economy? Or these ex-workers?

  20. Posted April 28, 2016 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Slightly off topic:
    http://www2.politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2016/04/27/immigration-looks-set-to-be-leaves-last-card/

    This a commentary on the state of play between the Remain and Leave campaigns by a former adman. I think it is worth a read.

  21. Posted April 28, 2016 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    If we leave and our gdp + employment figures are removed from the EU stats. How will that effect their figures. Will that take them into re session?

    • Posted April 28, 2016 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

      No. It’s a simple adjustment. German GDP has been showing negative quarters anyway.

  22. Posted April 28, 2016 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    I agree John, and your arguments always make sense, but I want to see these facts cut through to the ordinary voter.

    Members of the public keeps saying they need more information before they can make a decision to vote on whether to leave the EU or remain, so we need a really good conduit to get the information out there to them.

    So many people listen to less than impartial broadcasters, and are swayed by a lop-sided presentation that doesn’t adequately give a balanced view. Some newspapers do a fair job, but pressure needs to be applied to the likes of the BBC. I cannot count the number of e-mails I have sent to that organisation to complain at their bent and twisted pro-EU journalism, but they’re unresponsive, untouchable, and therefore unaccountable to the people who pay their wages.

    I am eternally grateful to you for providing informed opinion and putting it out for debate. It helps me to campaign effectively, for Brexit, but that is piecemeal.

    How can we get a level playing field?

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • Posted April 28, 2016 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      You will never get a level playing field, as we saw with all the tax payer funded propaganda leaflet full of lies. Cameron and the remain camp are essentially the referee in this biased game.

      I still cannot believe that the public will fall for remain myself, but the betting odds still suggest strongly that they will.

    • Posted April 28, 2016 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      Not a lot you can do to get a level playing field, Tad.

      It is so disheartening and frustrating and not at all the fault of prominent Brexiteers.

      I’d like to hear a few “Will you shut up and let me answer !” I know it’s rude but it certainly grabs the attention.

      The Remainers can fear monger using unverified arguments as much as they like.

  23. Posted April 28, 2016 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Don’t hold your breath for these conclusions to be repeated on the BBC or in the MSM – when the pound goes down, when shares fall, they call it ‘news’ and blame Brexit. When the pound and shares rally, they say nothing. We are way overdue to stop the TV Tax.

  24. Posted April 28, 2016 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Also a bit off-topic, the Daily Mail is trailing a speech by Priti Patel in which she will claim that EU regulations are holding back businesses at a cost which could be 7% of GDP:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3562573/Brussels-diktats-costing-families-4-600-year-Employment-minister-say-homes-small-businesses-throttled-Brexit-boost-economy-billions.html

    I am not going to contradict her, I am just going to urge caution because in the past there have been some improbably high estimates of the real costs of EU membership, estimates which in reality have been little more than guesses and in some cases just as biased as the recent guesses from Osborne and the OECD and others about the costs of leaving the EU, but of course biased in the opposite direction.

    It’s not impossible that over four decades the drag of over-regulation has cumulatively prevented growth to that extent – just 0.2% cut off the average growth rate for 40 years would do it – but on the other hand from this chart of the annual growth rate of the UK economy since 1956:

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-kingdom/gdp-growth-annual

    it’s impossible to conclude that the Common Market, or the later advent of the Single Market, has had any significant effect on the growth rate either way.

    I could cite different sources where the costs of the EU Single Market appear to be as low as 2% of GDP or as high as 12% GDP, and by a fluke the 7% of GDP that Priti Patel is claiming is in the centre between those extremes; there is more consistency about the estimates for the benefits of the EU Single Market, where several studies have come to numbers around 2% of GDP as the average across the EU, but with one report saying the UK is one of the countries which has benefited least and it is more like 1%.

    The two things which strike me are that it is unlikely that the much-vaunted benefits of the EU Single Market exceed its costs, but in any case the net effects will be rather marginal compared to the effects of the underlying 2.5% a year trend rate for the natural growth of the UK economy, which has roughly trebled UK GDP over the period since our politicians decided that our birthright was worth no more than a small mess of pottage.

  25. Posted April 28, 2016 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Off Topic:
    One problem of the Labour Party, generally, is that those on its extreme left are very well read but do not or will not understand the particular topic of economics. Those on the right pretend to have read many books; they may have, but have understood nothing at all.

  26. Posted April 28, 2016 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Tucked away in the Business section:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/04/27/the-european-union-always-was-a-cia-project-as-brexiteers-discov/

    “The European Union always was a CIA project, as Brexiteers discover”

    • Posted April 28, 2016 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

      i wonder if Mr Corbyn and the TU movement have yet cottoned to the fact that they are supporting a CIA venture?

  27. Posted April 28, 2016 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    As you have sagely pointed out, the Leave campaign need to focus on the uncertainties as to what will happen to this country if we remain.

  28. Posted April 28, 2016 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    If all of the purported economic benefits of Leave are actually realised, this inflationary activity would push up UK interest rates.

    Higher interest rates aren’t included as one of the benefits of Leave, I wonder why?

    • Posted April 29, 2016 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Maybe because there are no grounds for the assertion in your first sentence.

  29. Posted April 28, 2016 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Slightly OT;

    I notice the BBC has now put a programme on 2 called Channel Patrol. It seems to be designed to illustrate that 1. we are actually controlling our borders, and 2. That offshore windfarms are a great thing. How much longer is the BBC to be allowed to push this propaganda?

    • Posted April 28, 2016 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

      Well I don’t know about off shore wind except that it’s hellishly expensive for intermittent energy but I do know first hand how the onshore wind industry has blighted people’s lives. The first turbine has been erected opposite my home and it looks horrendous. There are a futher 9 to go up. NO, wind energy is not good for man nor beast!!

      Some good points for getting out of the EU made tonight on QT.

  30. Posted April 28, 2016 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    The assault on our rights to decide what is in our own best interests as a putative soverien nation proceeds apace as the Brussels Regime caves into US corporations’ superior interest to take profits from us without regard to the potential costs in lives and health:

    “Freedom of Information documents show the scale of US lobbying has overwhelmed the EU Commission who now stand accused of bowing to US pressure and abdicating to the corporations and rejecting citizen concerns. The documents reveal that US representatives pushed for the EU to disregard its own GMO rules on the basis that the EU were simply putting up barriers and stifling trade under the proposed TTIP negotiations. The papers state that the EU should completely ignore health and environmental safeguards to pave the way for successful negotiations.

  31. Posted April 28, 2016 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    There’s an article here in which Heseltine claims that we will eventually join the euro – obviously he doesn’t realise that even if we stay in the EU the UK will have that “special status” negotiated by his party leader, and therefore we will NEVER join it:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3561883/One-day-ll-join-EURO-admits-Tory-grandee-Michael-Heseltine-claims-Margaret-Thatcher-voted-stay-EU.html

    However more interesting than that is the graph of quarterly GDP going back to 2008.

    To get an idea of where we would be now without the 1% benefit of the EU Single Market just move the end of the black line down a touch to where it was last summer, while if you want to also take into account the likely costs of the EU Single Market just move it up to the top of the chart or maybe a bit higher.

  32. Posted April 28, 2016 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    OT again;

    Rod Liddle is quite right about the BBC not mentioning the migrant crisis unless absolutely necessary. Funny that. They’re really pushing the Sun phone-hacking story though (about which no one really cares) – probably in the hope that the Sun goes the same way as the NOTW.

  33. Posted April 28, 2016 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    So long as you’re explaining you’re losing.

    The public need the bejeesus scared out of them out-scaring even Project Fear.

    Not to convert the Remainers (they’ve already made up their minds) but to ensure that the Leavers turn out on referendum day.

    This is all about turnout now – not converting minds.

  34. Posted April 28, 2016 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Why has MP Mann not been arrested?

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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