The IFS are completely wrong about the EU

The IFS clearly missed fhe referendum debates. Leave won, making it clear we wish to leave the EU and have no wish to go on paying contributions or accepting freedom of movement.

 

There is no evidence that joining the EEC or completing the single market boosted our growth, so it is difficult to believe we will lose growth when we leave.

The IFS agreed with  Remain. The official campaign made plenty of false claims and stupid forecasts about what would happen if we voted for Out.  Why don’t they accept they got it wrong and start looking at the facts for a change?

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88 Comments

  1. Sean
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    We need to put pressure on May, why is she continuing to drag her feet?
    Two years of negotiations after May invokes so called artical 50 should be ample time, unless politicians aren’t doing their job properly.
    We need to start our divorce from the EU without any stupid red line from the EU, this year.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 10, 2016 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-08/how-a-hairdresser-s-lawsuit-could-spell-trouble-for-brexit

      “In the hall of London’s Inner Temple, a grand dining chamber with stained-glass windows and coats of arms adorning the walls, 300 lawyers assembled to complain about Britain’s exit from the European Union.

      “The world has effectively been turned upside down,” said former attorney general Dominic Grieve. The campaign in favor of leaving was “the constitutional equivalent of crimes against humanity,” remarked Richard Gordon, a barrister at Brick Court Chambers. When the speakers asked if anyone in the room had anything more positive to say, there was silence.

      Like that audience at the Inner Temple last month, London’s legal establishment was overwhelmingly in favor of remaining within the EU. No one was surprised when a handful of legal claims emerged after the referendum to challenge the Brexit process. The question is, can they delay or even derail Britain’s departure from the bloc?”

      “Among potential outcomes: a lengthy delay as legal challenges play out; the risk — albeit slight — of jail for government ministers should they ignore the court’s orders; and even a Parliament that’s forced to vote and ultimately rejects Brexit. It’s also possible the court will decide the government can invoke Article 50 whenever it chooses, with or without a vote.”

      Once again the British establishment is working to stab the British people in the back, this episode starting on June 24th when “cast-iron Cameron” decided to resign rather than send in the Article 50 notice as he had promised.

      https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/504216/The_process_for_withdrawing_from_the_EU_print_ready.pdf

      “The result of the referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union will
      be final. The Government would have a democratic duty to give effect to the electorate’s decision. The Prime Minister made clear to the House of Commons that “if the British people vote to leave, there is only one way to bring that about, namely to trigger Article 50 of the Treaties and begin the process of exit, and the British people would rightly expect that to start straight away”.”

      Now we have:

      https://euobserver.com/uk-referendum/134608

      “This could mean, as lawyer and writer David Allen Green suggested, that “the longer article 50 notification is put off, the greater the chance it will never be made … And there is currently no reason or evidence to believe that, regardless of the referendum result, the notification will be sent at all.”

      Reply IN the real world the government has clearly stated it will implement the will of the people, and Parliament can and should do so.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 10, 2016 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        The courts are part of the real world, and the government won’t put in the Article 50 notice unless and until the Supreme Court says it can.

      • Mark B
        Posted August 10, 2016 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply

        With respect sir, no one is above the law, not even parliament and Her Majesty, and they are her courts.

        It is perhaps time to suggest that legislation be brought in to prevent such individuals challenging these decisions of the people. All referendums should, from now on, be legally binding and final.

        Reply Parliament makes the law. THis is an argument about jurisdiction, not a case of breaking an agreed law.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted August 11, 2016 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

          I don’t think all future referendums should automatically be legally binding and final. I do think that if the government clearly states long before a referendum that it intends to treat the result as politically binding and final then parliamentarians should either accept that or they should object BEFORE the vote takes place.

          What is intolerable is for the people to be told it is their decision, and then when they have voted have parliamentarians belatedly insisting on their right to gainsay the verdict of the people on no grounds other than their personal antipathy to the result.

          Reply Each referendum needs an Act of Parliament, which will state if it is legally binding or advisory or some other position. In this case the government choose to state clearly in Parliament and in a formal communication to all households that it would implement the decision of voters.

      • hefner
        Posted August 10, 2016 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

        “Parliament can and should do so”. So what are you waiting for? How long are you going to write every day about Brexit-related topics and do nothing? Or is it that you are already so much marginalised that you don’t dare moving?

        Reply Parliament is in recess! We will do something in Parliament when it resumes.

    • Hope
      Posted August 10, 2016 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      As per the previous blog May and Jammond could impose these organisations to follow a narrative of their choosing just like Osborne did.nthis is about conditioning our minds to accept we were wrong to vote leave and that their false predictions are coming true, she they are not. Sean is right you need to force the hand if May ,Now.

    • Andy
      Posted August 10, 2016 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      I don’t agree. We should play a longer game. There is a French Presidential Election early next year and then German Elections. I don’t see why we should help to clarify matter to suit that lot.

      • Hope
        Posted August 11, 2016 at 10:28 am | Permalink

        The negotiations will take longer and be occurring when their elections are on!bthe noticed needs to be served now. Negotiations can always be dragged out.

  2. Ian Wragg
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    You’re wasting your time John. All these quangos subscribe to world government which the EU is a precursor.
    Like Carney they are spectacularly wrong but it’s only taxpayers money.
    If I had made a fraction of the mistakes these clowns do not only would there have been masses of blackouts but I would have been shown the door.

    • Hope
      Posted August 10, 2016 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      The quangos could begin to be scrapped. No need to implement EU directives and regulation now. Start reducing public spending and get rid of the Environment Agency. We are now paying three taxes for the same thing. Local authorities imposing a levy to prevent flooding, insurance premiums increased by Osborne for the same and £1.5 billion for a useless EA. Sadly still no real action to prevent flooding!

  3. Jerry
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    “Leave won, making it clear we wish to leave the EU and have no wish to go on paying contributions or accepting freedom of movement.”

    Once again you are expecting people to believe you are a mind reader! The only thing you can state as fact is that a majority wish to leave the EU, we were never asked what sort of future relationship we want upon leaving. Nor can you state that Vote Leave won, there was no campaign groups listed (GE fashioned) with a box to tick, so it is impossible for any group to claim victory. With the seemingly grass roots Corbyn support and Brexit being won in Labour heartlands it is quite possible that the SLP (and other anti EU left-wing groups) had as much to do with the Brexit vote as either Vote Leave or Leave.EU.

    “There is no evidence that joining the EEC or completing the single market boosted our growth, so it is difficult to believe we will lose growth when we leave.”

    Well many hope you are correct but it is not welcome to hear the comments from Nissan of late, nor has BMW made any announcement about their non Luxury cars brand. As Nissan implied the other day, they chose the UK because the UK was in the EEC/EU and their market for the cars is in the EEC/EU – they are no alone in having done so…

    Saying that, now the deed has been done, let’s have a bit of honesty, yes there is nothing to be scared of from a hard Brexit but the UK economy will have to adjust to the fact that for some companies (as yet we know not how many) currently located in the UK will decide that they need to relocate so their manufacturing facilities remain within the EU. I suspect that this is why Mr Hammond, the government and some within the party are already openly talking about the economic “Reset” button, perhaps becoming far more Keynesian, or at least even less wedded to pure Monetarism.

    • David in England
      Posted August 10, 2016 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      Don’t forget that Nissan is ultimately controlled by the French state so anything they say should be considered from that perspective only. It is no more than the continuation of project fear.

    • Edward2
      Posted August 10, 2016 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      I see you have dropped the claim that the UK has a free market economy and now claim we have “pure monetarism” instead.
      Just as wrong as the rest of your post.

      • Jerry
        Posted August 10, 2016 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        @David in England; “Nissan is ultimately controlled by the French state”

        Wrong, Renault was privatised 1996, and in any case they only holds 43.5% of Nissan shares.

        @Edward2; What ever… Another of your “let’s waste our hosts time with a silly argument” set around what you think I said. 🙁

        • NickC
          Posted August 11, 2016 at 9:49 am | Permalink

          “Recent government moves mean Paris will control more than 30% of Renault voting rights from April, giving it control over [the] carmaker’s strategy” Guardian 02-12-2015.

          • Jerry
            Posted August 11, 2016 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; Your point being what, other than to tell us you do not understand percentages! 70% of Renault will still be privately owned, but even if it were to be fully renationalised by the French government (against EU rules) Renault would still only hold the same 43.5% of Nissan shares.

          • NickC
            Posted August 11, 2016 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

            The quote is not mine but direct from the Guardian which recognises that a block 30% holding gives the French government effective “control over [the] carmaker’s strategy”. Similarly the Renault 43.5% ownership of Nissan is so overwhelming that most of their cars are essentially re-skinned Renaults. That is exemplified by the CMF concept. Total ownership is not needed for virtually complete control.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 11, 2016 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

          You said pure monetarism Jerry not me.

          And as for wasting our hosts time I think it is time you applied this advice to your own daily multiple lengthy pedantic posts

          • Jerry
            Posted August 11, 2016 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Oh right, so you seem to be objecting to just one word, “pure”, considering that apart from the dog-eat-dog part of a true (pure) free market the UK satisfies all the common standards for a free market economy one can only assume that your problem is that we do not have that one missing element – a most telling & enlightening, if Freudian, admission on your part @Edward2!

          • Jerry
            Posted August 12, 2016 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; “Renault 43.5% ownership of Nissan is so overwhelming that most of their cars are essentially re-skinned Renaults”

            Common design is an increasingly common feature in vehicle design, even between otherwise rival companies. For example the Renault Traffic van is made by GM (at their plant in Luton) and sold by and under the Opel/Vauxhall brands as “Vivaro” as well as sold by Renault under their “Traffic” brand.

            Mercedes-Benz and VW also share a chassis/van, known as either the MB Sprinter or VW LT3 (Crafter), both versions being built in the same MB factory.

            Then there is the common floor-pan/shell used by both Toyota and the PSA Peugeot Citroën group for the current Aygo, 104 & C1 ranges of small car – according to your logic that proves PSA must have a controlling stake in Toyota and not just an agreement to share R&D costs on mutually agreeable terms…

            Nor do I see how less than 51% gives a controlling interest, unless others agree and vote with Renault.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 12, 2016 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

            Jerry
            What an very odd post, now bring Freud into it !
            We do not have free market economy
            Just the size of the State with as just a few examples. . free health education and welfare for all, proves that assertion a nonsense.
            Neither have we ever had an economy run on anywhere near a pure monetarist model.

          • Jerry
            Posted August 13, 2016 at 7:43 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; Believe what you want but the fact remains UK does have a free market economy, if you do not believe me then go ask some (older) Eastern Europeans what life was like in their countries before they were allowed to have a free market economy once again.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 14, 2016 at 12:03 am | Permalink

            You are confusing a state controlled communist systemin the old USSR satellite countries which failed and broke down into what is a modern mixed ecnomy.
            A free market economy is a very different thing where the State is hardly involved.
            For example
            No state housing
            No state health provision
            No state education system
            No state pensions
            etc
            None of these countries meet the definition of a free market economy.

    • Alexis
      Posted August 10, 2016 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      But it is not a ‘fact’ that some companies will decide they need to relocate their manufacturing facilities in the EU.

      Without data, it is pure guesswork.

      There are more reasons companies base their facilities here than the much vaunted Single Market. Language, law, location, workforce, and government, er, incentives all play their part.

      Nissan threatened to pull out because we didn’t join the euro 15 years ago, but they found other factors of greater benefit, and stayed put.

      It’s also worth remembering that land and labour are at a premium in this country: we can therefore be sure that when companies base themselves here, and not, say, in Greece, there is a good reason (and it’s unlikely to be because of the EU)

      • Jerry
        Posted August 11, 2016 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

        @Alexis; My first reply appears to have got lost in the ether.

        I will not bother repeating the bulk nor specifics, enough to say that land values and labour issues weigh both ways, as do non standard product lines for the bulk of the market being served as they tend to add production costs. If land is so valuable here in the UK but dirt cheap elsewhere and the latter comes with an abundance of cheaper labour then why stay in the UK even before considering any other factors?

  4. alan jutson
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    As I have posted many times before we voted to LEAVE the EU, nothing else.

    The choice was clear, LEAVE or REMAIN.

    No other question or proposal was listed for us to vote on, so why do people now want to complicate the matter ?

    Only those who seek to want to water down the result, now they find out they were on the losing side. !

    The Government set out the option and framed the question in very simple terms, and said it would abide by the result.

    I wish they would just get on with it now.

    So far we have paid net over £ One Billion to the EU since the result, money which could have helped to have financed a project here.

    How much longer must we wait whilst politicians dither.

    • Robert Christopher
      Posted August 10, 2016 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      “The Government set out the option and framed the question in very simple terms, and said it would abide by the result.”

      In fact, it wasn’t the whole Government, it was the Remainers in the Government wot done it. So they can hardly blame the Brexiters, but they do!

      And not only did they not offer resources to fund a Brexit case, they restricted their activities prior to the vote.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Well they are the IFS they have a sort of group think insanity they doubtless believe in all the exaggerated climate alarmist too, just like the BBC and all the other Libdims. Another article says:-

    “If Hammond hits reset, it won’t mean Osborne got it wrong”. Well whether Hammond hits reset or not Osborne was going in completely the wrong direction. Even larger and more complex taxes, wages controls by law, sugar taxes, attacks on landlords/tenants, pension pots, inheritance tax ratting, endless greencrap grants, HS2, even a bonkers sugar tax. The man was an economic illiterate who even tried to kill UK democtracy by lying to people that interest rates and mortgages would go up on Brexit and he would have to tax them even futher. Thank goodness the man has gone but are Hammond and May any better?

  6. Iain Moore
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    It is odd that the IFS suggests being part of the EU single market for the next 14 years would contribute an addition 4% to our GDP , when the last 25 years of being part of the single market has, according to Deutsche Bank, added just 1.5% to our GDP, and to the EU as a whole, where the Single Market has been much more significant , has contributed no more than 2-3% to GDP. In fact the IFS in coming up with a 4% figure for the future added value of the Single Market has come up with a figure close to the bullish range the EU came up with in 1988 for its project (4.5%-6% ) which they never got close to.

    https://www.dbresearch.com/PROD/DBR_INTERNET_EN-PROD/PROD0000000000322897/The+Single+European+Market+20+years+on%3A+Achievements,+unfulfilled+expectations+%26+further+potential.pdf

    Reply I cannot accept there has been any addition to growth through EU membership. They need to subtract the big loss of output and income we suffered from ERM membership to start with.

  7. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Yes, the IFS and other Remoaners want to neutralise the referendum result, and if they can’t manage to keep us in the EU then they will at least try to keep us in EEA.

    Here’s one question: if there are all these good reasons for staying in the EEA to minimise the economic damage they predict, when will those good reasons cease to apply so that we can move on from the EEA to regain full national independence?

    In five years, in ten years, in fifty years, or never?

    Well, the best answer could be “never”; if we agree to stay in the EEA now we may well stay in the EEA in perpetuity, because every time it is suggested that we should leave it the IFS and others will produce the same old arguments why we should stay in it.

    And here’s another question: why should it be supposed that all of the other members of the EEA will even agree to the UK remaining in the EEA, if they are aware of a cunning plan for the UK to then abuse certain provisions in the EEA Agreement?

    There are already some signs that the existing EFTA countries would not be very happy to have the UK rejoin EFTA, and each of the four could veto that happening:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/09/norway-may-block-uk-return-to-european-free-trade-association

    “Norway may block UK return to European Free Trade Association”

    “She also confirmed that the UK could only join if there were unanimous agreement, thereby providing Norway with a veto.”

    And the same applies to the EEA; while the UK is already a separate party to the EEA Agreement in its own sovereign right it is in the EEA as an EU member state, and all the parties to the treaty would have to agree to the necessary amendments even if they were technically easy to draft.

    • Andy
      Posted August 10, 2016 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      I’m not sure EFTA membership gives us much really. I can see why Norway might take the attitude in the article, but I think Norway gets a very bad deal from the EU as does Switzerland. The EU is arrogant and overbearing and needs cutting down to size.

  8. Richard1
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    I suppose it must be true that if there is a net decline in trade there will be a decline in tax receipts?

    But the IFS appears to run a static model and doesn’t take into account other factors – possible increases in non-EU trade, an improvement in competitiveness when the UK is freed from EU regulation, and a possible huge boost to incentives – and therefore to growth – if the government decides, as it should, that we need to adopt radical supply side measures and start to compare ourselves more with countries like Singapore, Hong Kong and Switzerland and stop complacent boasting about being in better shape than France or Greece.

  9. Frank salmon
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    I’ve just been n the IFS website. Amazingly, bog standard economic analysis is dismissed. I read an article by Paul Johnson on the fall in the £ and how disasterous it is. It had all hallmarks of self deception and misinformation that currently engulfs the Labour Party. I see the IFS is also being embraced by the BBC this morning. Along with the corporatist CBI. I’m expecting Len Mclusky to come up next with further ‘serious’ economic analysis….

  10. Antisthenes
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Forecasting is a very difficult and anyone in business will tell you that doing it is very important for planning purposes but they must be plans that can be easily adjusted if circumstances change and invariably they do. Also plans are made on the basis that they are the best guess and nobody will say that that which is planned to happen will.

    The IFS, politicians and all the experts all want us to believe that their predictions are accurate either because they wish to shape future events or because they have an inflated opinion of themselves and their abilities or both. Some times it is well meaning and some times it is quite the opposite. In any event we would do well to be wary of taking too much notice of these forecasts especially if they contain many unknowns which the current one the IFS has made on Brexit certainly does.

    • hefner
      Posted August 10, 2016 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      I can only concur with you, specially about your second paragraph. It would be great if anybody/everybody implied in these “games” were to read it and think twice about what is meant.

  11. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    And here’s a supplementary question: if financial institutions can only obtain Single Market “passporting rights” if they are headquartered in an EEA country, why is it being mooted that US hedge funds will be granted those rights?

    https://euobserver.com/tickers/134414

    “US hedge funds get EU passport

    By EUOBSERVER

    19. JUL, 18:41

    The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) in Paris Tuesday said US hedge funds can get a “passport” to operate across the EU because there is no risk of “market disruption”. The ESMA verdict bodes well for the City of London, which is likely to undergo the same vetting process after the UK leaves, Leonard Ng, a partner at law firm Sidley Austin in London, told the Reuters news agency.”

    Wouldn’t it be a breach of WTO rules if the EU discriminated against the UK in this regard for no good economic reasons, but only for political reasons?

    Really meaning, from stupidity and spite because we chose to leave the EU.

  12. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Quite simple, they, along with many in the media and other Remainers, have no intention of accepting the result of the referendum. All good economic news is ignored or because we are still in the EU; all bad news, mostly based on opinions rather than economic facts, is claimed as a direct result of Brexit. The worry for those who voted for independence and self-governance is that the government is silent whilst all this is happening. It is no surprise that many fear that we shall be betrayed once more.

  13. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    John

    What is David Davis and his secret, silent, Brexit army doing. Will we be told and if so when? Who are the members of this secret army? The only name I’ve heard leaked so far has been David Jones, the former Secretary of State for Wales.

    If information has been released regarding what these people are doing, progress they are making, who are they etc. then where can we find these details?

    • Peter Stroud
      Posted August 10, 2016 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      I wonder if they are waiting for the Commons to sit after the Summer break, so they can report to their fellow MPs first.

      • rose
        Posted August 10, 2016 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

        Or just keeping thier powder dry and not showing their hand?

        Surely better than getting into fractious discussions with the BBC et al about every detail the media don’t understand?

  14. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    The IFS literally owes its living to being right. The same is true of a whole host of other organisations and individuals not just UK-based but throughout the world. They got it wrong.

    Note that those worldwide grouping advised their clients the UK would indeed vote Remain.
    Their clients lost a considerable amount of money on bookie betting alone.
    Their clients lost massive amounts of money too because of their advised investment choices prior to the vote. After the vote they were advised again that the Leave vote itself, despite the fact that Articlle 50 had not been triggered, would bring short and even medium term disaster. But it has not.
    A great deal of money has been lost and is being lost by the Remain camp’s allies and their clients. They are all now licking their wounds , crying over their depleted wallets, and trying to figure out some way of maintaining they were somehow right. Pathetic, but understandable.
    We may see a number of financial institutions and advisory bodies disappear very soon. You cannot keep getting it wrong no matter how many times you come out with ifs and buts and stay in business.

  15. Richard1
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    The clear logical progression of the IFS’s view is that every country in the world would be better off if it joined the single market, and preferably the EU. Why not, by their logic it would lead to an increase in trade with the EU?

    What this comes down to is everything depends on the policies the UK now adopts. Brexit might mean freedom to get shale gas going, removal of the threat of regulation such as employers having to count out of work emails as part of the limit set by the working time directive and clear exclusion from such emerging measures as cross-underwriting of EU banks, and the EU social Union (all likely to be part of the single market). It should mean cheaper food due to the removal of external tariffs and elimination of the silly ban on ‘GM’ foods. And it could and should mean less green crap and lower, flatter and simpler taxes. If so we will surely be better off.

    If, on the other hand, it means a continuation of vanity gesture policies like HS2 and Hinkley Point, continuing green crap and no real attempt at radical tax reform, then the IFS might be right and we would be better off staying in the single market or even the EU, especially if there’s a chance of a Corbyn or Owen Smith Labour government, which must surely be the biggest medium term threat to prosperity in the UK!

  16. Leslie Singleton
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    The IFS Report reads very oddly. These people seem to be saying that (as they see it in their overtly ‘Blue Monday’ analysis) ceasing our contributions will be more than wiped out by tariffs, licences etc. Maybe (or maybe not) but the net marginal effect thereof is unlikely to be more than a percent or two at worst so are they saying that the benefit of new and unfettered trade with the rest of the world is not going to add a few percent so that the overall net will move in to the positive? Funny how all those other countries manage. In any event I care little about the supposed trade or economic effect, certainly if it is this small: I want never again to have to watch the likes of Juncker telling us what to do. Getting rid of him and those like him together with cessation of uncontrolled immigration and freedom vis-a-vis the rest of the World is worth 10 percent on its own

    • miami.mode
      Posted August 10, 2016 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

      Leslie. A bit like the old MasterCard advert where they put a price on everything except freedom, which is priceless.

  17. Peter Lavington
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Why is the single market so important? It’s obvious that we can’t be in it and have control over our borders so why not leave now? Tariffs may or may not be applied but is it not the case that WTO rules limit them to 5%? In that case even if 5% we applied by the EU the £ has fallen by 10% against the EUR so we would come out winners.

  18. Richard1
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Off topic but tangentially relevant: I see there is now to be a strike on Eurostar. This will hit growth in some way, we are reminded again what a terrible waste of money ‘investment’ in rail is whilst railways can be held to ransom by militant unions. Time to cancel Hs2.

    • Pick It.
      Posted August 10, 2016 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      The unions still have to achieve a majority vote for strike action in a secret ballot. Few workers are militant, while some union activists may be, the potential for militancy is limited.

      The Eurostar dispute was first settled 8 years ago through ACAS but management have yet to honour promises made then.

      Eurostar staff (particularly train managers) are usually well educated, often not British by birth and are multi lingual. They are not prone to dispute.

      • a-tracy
        Posted August 10, 2016 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

        What promise did they make 8 years ago through ACAS? Some journalist somewhere should be asking for questions on behalf of all the stranded commuters.

        Some people in this country are crying out for more freight on railways etc. our just in time transport service would be a nightmare with the power in the hands of too few as these railway staff prove over and over again, they can affect commuters lives for weeks on end, or completely destroy people’s holidays in the case of Eurostar without us knowing what their full pay packages are, what are there terms of employment. How many days sick has each door opening employee taken in the last year and how many services have been cancelled through a lack of staff or how much unanticipated overtime was created through this. I think to gain the public’s sympathy we should know what the full fight is about instead of just snippets.

        • Pick It.
          Posted August 11, 2016 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

          I got this quote from a rail forum:

          “The 2008 agreement have been withdrawn, removing the 35 hour week limit, not giving overtime pay when you go over 35 hours and removing staff travel benefits.
          The reason why it’s a strike over work-life balance is because all the things that kept that in balance has been removed.”

          And also that more lodging turns in Brussels and Paris are required. And also the usual… that the French and Belgian counterparts are cherry picking the best jobs.

          Most services will still run as Continental crews are unaffected.

          The shifts are not a standard pattern (earlies, middles, lates) they start and finish literally any time to fit in with rosters, night or day and are London based.

          The salaries are generous but below the average City starting salary of 50k. Google bedsit prices in Croydon to see what lifestyle this affords.

        • Pick It.
          Posted August 11, 2016 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

          Eurostar staff do a vitally important job. Getting MEPs to Brussels to pick up their expenses.

      • Richard1
        Posted August 10, 2016 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

        I hope you are right. Strikes on train services are a terrible warning against public spending in this area.

        • Pick It.
          Posted August 11, 2016 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

          I agree, Richard.

          The Southern train dispute seems to be pure luddism but people can’t be blamed for defending their livelihoods (and this is a threat to their livelihoods, whatever the bosses say.)

          Eurostar is something different.

          Tri-lingual, security vetted and SNCB, SNCF, Eurotunnel and Network Rail validated staff are not easily recruited nor replaced.

  19. a-tracy
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Jenkins “lots of countries exploit their ‘access’ to the EU market – even those without a trade agreement!”. Ben Wright (T) “This is true – for goods. It is not true for services”.

    So what are these services John, what would we lose, what would we gain if EU countries couldn’t deal services with us?

    Anthony Browne: ” “The only way to guarantee that UK-based banks (both British and foreign) can still provide the financing the European economy needs is for the UK to retain full access to the single market. “If we start stripping away European financial services legislation, we are less likely to get single market access.”

    So does all of this wheeling and dealing only results in a loss for the UK? These seem to be the big worries for the Remainers so what is the truth? Our trade deficit is widening we were told that Europe would cut it’s nose off to spite it’s face if they wouldn’t agree terms with us, yet on the face of all the discussions and the IMF etc. it appears they want to – so what are our alternatives?

    Reply We were told the City of London would lose out badly if we did not join the Euro but the opposite was the case. This is the same kind of scaremongering.

  20. James Munroe
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    I will pay a little more attention to IFS ‘independent information’, when they receive zero funding from the EU.

  21. Malcolm Lidierth
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Before and after comparisons of the UK-EU relationship with respect to Brexit are of limited value. The more relevant comparison of the post-Brexit relationship, when we have one, would be with the relationship that might have been had the referendum returned a Remain result.

    It seems likely that the UK position in the EU would then have been worse. Emboldened by a remain result, Brussels would have launched its offensive against the UK service sector. Ongoing efforts to tax the UK finance industry would almost certainly have been rejuvenated and once that ball was rolling, rises in the tax rate as well spread to other service sector industries would likely have followed. Any post-Brexit drop in GDP needs then to be offset against the losses that UK PLC would have incurred through such eurotaxes.

    For the immediate future, the political response to Brexit of the supposedly apolitical Bundesbank seems the biggest threat. Wholesale movement to Frankfurt seems their likely preference. Other EU nations beware.

  22. Andy Ralls
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    How can you state that “…they got it wrong..” when it hasn’t happened yet? The predictions are aimed at what happens when we leave the EU, not the current phoney war.

    Reply Not so. They first forecast that the uncertainty generated by the referendum debate would damage us, which it did not. Then they said voting for out would cause damage, which it is not.

  23. Bert Young
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    The IFS must feel it is necessary to defend itself having lost out in the vote and making so many false claims . Like any body that exists without a real life experience in competition and innovation , it relies solely on back room historical evidence ; estimating from figures is totally out of place with day to day business and commerce . It believes that the safest thing is to plot a future based on the worst evidence .

    Anyone faced with challenge knows that putting your best foot forward is the only way to go ; if you start by thinking that you can never win , you surely won’t . Much success is based on mind-set ( speak to any athlete and they will affirm how important it is ) . The IFS is admirably placed to forecast from positive evidence and , for once , it should try doing so .

  24. bigneil
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    All the Remainers want is to cast their democratic vote so they can dig themselves further into the EU dictatorship.

  25. ferdinand
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    No doubt a psychologist could explain why the losers in an argument take a long time to learn the lesson of an opposing decision. But they will in due course. Some Remain economic journalists have already accepted the result and are now giving fair comment on how we might arrange our affairs. Large immovable organisations are the slowest and especially when they do not have to earn their living in the open market..

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 10, 2016 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      The worst of the bad losers will not accept the result until the government has sent in the Article 50 notice formally stating that the UK intends to leave the EU. Until that happens they will cling to hopes that somehow they can keep us in, because that is what they want and in typical EU style they simply don’t care about something as unimportant as the votes cast by the people in a referendum.

  26. Freeborn John
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    U.K. Exports to the EU only account for 9% of GDP. It is therefore extraordinarily unlikely that single market membership could account for a full 4% of GDP. This is not quite as bad as ‘3 million jobs’ depend on EU membership but not far off it. Maybe the IFS think the high-quality of regulation that the imposes on the rest of the economy not devoted to exporting to the EU makes the UK more productive? I somehow doubt that anyone else would agree that EU regulations have such a beneficial effect on the economy especially considering they were never designed to do anything other than advance ‘ever closer union’.

  27. t southwell
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Find out how much the EU pays to IFS, might give one a clue as to their statements.

    • hefner
      Posted August 10, 2016 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      11% of its funding.

  28. lojolondon
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    John, you are totally correct as usual. Special mention for the Biased BBC which also missed the outcome of the referendum and also the part in the Royal Charter where their responsibilities to provide true and impartial news is written, and, two months after their pet cause was lost continues to spin for Remain.

  29. Ed Mahony
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Brexiteers seem to ignore geopolitics.
    By being in the EU, we help to build up the EU, economically, providing us with trading partners for the future, by: 1. the UK contributing financially to the EU 2. By the UK focusing our trade with the EU. Economic benefits (especially for those products that are harder to sell further afield – with some parts of our economy being strong than others, with the more competitive businesses with the right products being able to sell outside the EU easier).
    But it’s not just about economics (important as that is). It’s also about peace and security. A peaceful and secure Europe means we have less threat from communists, fascists, dictators, and so on, springing up and plaguing Europe as they’ve done time and time again in history. (And all of this impacts our economy as well in the long-term).
    Ireland is a good example of how the EU has helped Ireland (and indirectly, the UK). Before the EU, Ireland was relatively poor. In the EU, Ireland began to prosper. To the point Ireland is now an important trading partner of the UK. And prosperity in Ireland helped to get the gun out of politics in Ireland in general.
    Geopolitics is also important to consider because the rest of the EU want to be nice to us for geopolitical reasons. But the USA isn’t so concerned about geopolitics with us (except that they want us to remain part of the EU). China even less. They’ll be far more ruthless with us – ruthless in terms of trying to get access to our markets, whilst trying their hardest to prevent us getting access to theirs (‘bad trade deals cost jobs’ – Donald Trump – quite right). (And China is not too happy with us as it is, regarding: 1. upsetting their plans of investing in the UK as a gateway into Europe 2. of how Brexit has caused uncertainty in the world economy 3. Hinkley Point).
    (Immigration was main reason people voted Leave, but no real evidence of how we would bring down immigration especially since we’ve failed, relatively speaking, regarding immigration from outside the EU).
    Lastly, remainers would listen to Brexiteers more if Brexiteers discussed more:
    1. geopolitics
    2. detailed economic plan for Breixt
    3. and detailed plan how they plan to reduce immigration in general

    Reply You seem to ignore the referendum. We debated all this non sotp for six months and got an answer. I have answered all your queries endlessly over the course of this year, and the answers are on past blogs.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted August 10, 2016 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      Apologies. Shouldn’t be repeating myself in your blog comments (and i won’t in future as i take your point). But just last comment then, i just don’t understand why commentators on your blog don’t mention:
      1. geopolitics,
      2. Detailed Brexit plan
      3. or how to bring down immigration
      It’s all negative argument: how bad the EU is (yes, we all agree there’s a lot wrong with it), how terrible the ‘remoaners’ are and so on, how terrible immigration is (yes, i want to see it reduced, but how, and why is immigration from outside the EU so high?).
      ‘You seem to ignore the referendum’ – Brexiteers haven’t made me confident at all – post Brexit – that Brexit is going to work. Therefore, the referendum means absolutely nothing if our country falls into economic and constitutional mess. And if that happened, a second referendum would quickly reverse Brexit. Until Brexiteers in genrral (I don’t mean you), discuss in more detail, 1. geopolitics 2. detailed Brexit plan 3. how to bring down immigration, then everything is just stubborn hearsay and wishful thinking, and you cannot base an economy, and a general foreign and domestic policy on that. Surely? Realpolitik just catches up (and in particular the markets – and they’re brutal – as well as trade negotiators from outside the EU).
      Again, Brexiteers might be right, but they need to get ‘Remoaners’ on board by using detailed argument (again, I’m a remainer who believes in strong reform of the EU – I’m not some kind of radical lover of the EU – far from it, but what I dislike is uncertainty, lack of vision, lack of clarity of thought, and lack of real leadership (not from you but from the Brexiteers in general) when leaving the EU is extremely tricky, risky and complicated when we have nothing saved up to take such a risk.
      Regards

      Reply I have set out many positive parts of the post Brexit vote plan – the Brexit budget, the Parliamentary process of repeal, the new fishing policy,the improvement in the balance of payments, the end of EU/Euro liabilities etc

      • rose
        Posted August 11, 2016 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply: did you hear Nigel Farage say the acid test of whether we had left the EU would be whether we had recovered our fishing waters?

    • Mark B
      Posted August 10, 2016 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      You do know what the EU really is ?

      What do the words; EVER CLOSER UNION mean to you ?

      And yes, Ireland did do really well out of the EU. So did Spain, Portugal, Greece and all the others. And how well are they doing now that they spent all the money the UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands sent to the EU to give to them ?

      Spain built a lot of airports. Sadly no aeroplane ever go there.

      The UK is Ireland’s biggest trading partner, and will still be once we leave.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted August 11, 2016 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        (sorry, just respond to these comments)

        ‘What do the words; EVER CLOSER UNION mean to you ?’ – just words. We’ve got an opt out of that. We can stop it. Others can stop is as there is much call for reform. And why don’t we try and take more leadership control of the EU – including taking a leading role in reform – instead of allowing Germany and France to run things.

        The EU is a long-term project. Big projects always have teething problems. I admit the EU project is challenging. But the long-term consequences are rewarding.

        Or else, of course, we can return to destabilised Europe. With political and social instability contributing to economic instability (both which come back to effect us). Consider how social poverty played a significant role in Irish nationalism and the IRA. How all kinds of instabilities gave rise to Communism and fascism across Europe. How these affect us economically both directly and indirectly as well as pull us into political, and sometimes, armed conflicts – one being WW2, inspiring Churchill for closer unity between Europe.

        Much of Europe has worked. Germany wants to make it work for all sorts of reasons (guilt / geopolitics). As well as other European countries. Much of the business community is behind the EU for economic reasons. And politicians for geopolitical reasons. And the Church (Pope + AB of Canterbury) for religious reasons. Even prominent atheists such as Richard Dawkins is behind it.

        The Brexiteers only won because of immigration (and yet have no real clear plan how to bring down immigration considering how high it is already from outside the EU) + the charisma of Boris Johnson and the negative spin of others, in particular over immigration (e.g. mass immigration from Turkey). Yes, Remainers exaggerated (but so did Brexiteers on the £350 – so both cancel each other out here on the economic fear-mongering, at least in the short term – no real evidence the UK will be better off or better off enough to make all the hassle of leaving worth it).

        Reply We voted to lave and will now leave. We debated all this endless for six months prior to June 23rd and I set out here why it will be better for the EU and for us when we leave, as we never wanted to join in most of the project.

    • Know-dice
      Posted August 11, 2016 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      Ed, whilst I don’t agree with most/all of your post here 🙁

      I fell that I should point out that the EU has done more to create insecurity and dissent in Europe and in particular Ukraine than any other organisation has achieved in the past 60 years. Don’t equate “better together” especially in the EU with peace and security.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted August 11, 2016 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

        Hello,
        Because of original sin / the human condition (whether you want to discuss this in a theist or non-theist context, whatever) man is flawed – as individuals, countries and groups of countries such as the EU. Therefore, there is never going to be Utopia in Europe.
        But the questions is: what’s the best way to make the most of things? You mention negatives about the EU, but forget to mention the wars and violence and all sorts of things that have plagued Europe throughout history and the 20th century. You also forget to mention the positives. How the EU has helped to create ease of trade on the European continent, giving the UK close neighbours to trade with economically (and in particular for our goods and services that are harder to sell / export further afield – not forgetting that not all goods and services are the same and/or some are just naturally more global than others – for example, it’s easier to sell an Apple computer in Tibet than it is to sell furniture made in the Cotswolds to Burma (unless, of course, the furniture is world famous, if not, it might be easier to sell in Germany or France or the Netherlands for example). And how this ease of trade helps to build up the EU in general (not just hand-outs), thus helping to build up both peace and prosperity in the EU in general. All we can say for sure is that Europe has become more peaceful and prosperous in general since EEC/EU, not less. And yes, with hiccups – some larger than others – along the way.
        The EU is far from perfect. But so is the alternative. Don’t forget that. And if you’re going to argue against the EU, you have to argue how you’re going to preserve/increase both the UK’s prosperity as well as peace in the future.

        Reply You are wrong on both counts. We have a trade surplus with the rest of the world and faster export growth, a big deficit with the EU. The EU has been part of the background to dreadful wars in Bosnia, much of former Yugoslavia, Ukraine and has made various unhelpful diplomatic interventions in eastern Europe and the Middle East.

  30. Alte Fritz
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    As someone said “That’s all very well in practice, but how will it work in theory?”

    I thinky that if we all laugh at the likes of the IFS enough, they will eventually go away.

  31. Adam
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    This country can only survive, let alone thrive, with a move away from the welfare for life and non profit economy models. The majority of people must be in for profit economic activity the majority of the time, for the system to function.

    We were bankrupt in 76 remember.

    Just saying it now.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 10, 2016 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      This is the hidden side of Brexit that Leave voting dole dependents might not have understood . Those who voted for it must be prepared to work hard. Yes. Immigration must be cut, but the slack must be taken up and welfare dependency clamped down on to make Brexit a success.

  32. brian
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    I hope that Brexit will be successful and that the UK will prosper and benefit from its freedom outside the EU. We will also have the benefit of hearing many fewer outbursts from hysterical Brexiteers.

    • hefner
      Posted August 10, 2016 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      … particularly from the armchair Brexiteers who do not have a clue about the amount of work required for taking the UK out of the EU and who think it could have been done with a couple of weeks, simply because they say so…

  33. hans chr iversen
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    John Redwood is on his white horse again about IFS and their figures, he argues against facts and figures. The UK has had significant more growth and prosperity due to both domestic and European wealth creating which has created export opportunities for the UK

    But we all know that when it comes to facts and figure John just ignores them because he is never that well prepared and just arguing against seems his best c. How sad what should think he would have grown ut of it at his age?

    Reply I stick to the figures of what has actually happened in the economy. Remain highlights surveys and guesses about the future that are usually wrong.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 10, 2016 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      If the UK has experienced “significant more growth” thanks to its involvement with the EEC/EC/EU/USE project, why doesn’t that show up on this chart of the UK’s annual economic growth rate going back to 1956?

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

    • JohnF
      Posted August 10, 2016 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      But we all know that when it comes to facts and figure John just ignores them

      A bit like yourself then since you have failed to provide a single statistic to support your argument.

    • McBryde
      Posted August 10, 2016 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      Using the government’s own data, economic growth in Britain has gone progressively lower since it joined the EU in 1973.

  34. BOF
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Re Sean, first comment of the day,Mrs May is on perilous ground. I have copied the following from Tom Utley’s column last week.

    If Leave had been a political party standing at a General Election, according to a study at the University of East Anglia, it would have won a thumping landslide of 421 seats — 65 per cent of all seats (including Scotland) and 73 per cent in England and Wales.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-3724691/TOM-UTLEY-94th-birthday-bash-mother-law-showed-bitterly-divided-country-is.html#ixzz4Gwq532N3
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    That means that many MP’s face enraging their constituents if they go along with any scheme to overturn the referendum and the possibility that many would lose their seats in a general election.

  35. McBryde
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately, with 3 out of the 4 options being more in than out, the establishment is working on public opinion to give up on the opt out totally idea. Instead it would be a vote by the rest of the member states to choose for us which impotent outcome we’ll get.

    Let’s see if the British majority can show what it feels by not accepting any of the condescending distortions that are being served up.

  36. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Off topic:
    The Labour Party elite occupy a reality: a world exclusively their own. Hate him of love him, Mr Corbyn fills a town square with cheering flag waving crowds wherever he chooses to go. No other Labour Party leader,or any Party leader, has managed to do that. Yet Mr. Miliband and his ilk, champion a name people only know because there are so many of that surname.
    Mr Miliband’s champion cannot fill ones smallest room with supporters.

  37. Mick
    Posted August 11, 2016 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/698680/brexit-eu-accept-unlimited-migration-free-trade
    I’m getting abit jerk off with the eu telling us the UK what we have to do, who the hell do they think they are, the people of this country voted to come out of the dreaded eu No ifs No buts it couldn’t have been any plainer, so just get on with it and don’t even think about kicking it into the long grass or any other kind of fudge WE WANT OUT NOW

  38. Marcus
    Posted August 16, 2016 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    I’ve just reviewed the question on which I cast my vote in the rerendum: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”.

    I’m not sure where in that question it asks if we should leave the single market and restrict freedom of movement? Can you help me on that John?

  • 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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