I think the Treasury forecast for the UK was right – in March.

In the March budget the Treasury forecast 2% growth for the UK in 2016 and 2.2% growth in 2017.  The Bank of England and many private sector forecasters were there or there abouts.

Then along came the Brexit vote. Many of these official and professional forecasters wanted to remain. Their original forecasts assumed we would vote for in, as it turned out their political forecasting was hopeless. So now they want to make sure their economic forecasting is equally hopeless. They mostly have slashed their 2017 forecast to negative, or a maximum of plus 0.8% which is where the Bank of England has reached after its third  re forecast of the year.

So we have to ask why? They say they now think the UK will flirt with recession in the 3rd and fourth quarters of 2016 as a result of the shock of Brexit, and will continue to stumble next year. Apparently confidence is going to collapse, and with it consumer spending, investment and property. You may remember the Treasury talking about house prices tumbling 18% in due course, and the Bank in May telling us we could well enter a recession.

If confidence is going to be that badly hit as they say, you would expect the hit to be at its worst immediately after the vote. For those who are shocked into negative thoughts by a Leave vote, the pain is clearly greatest as soon as you learn. Like most sad knocks in life, time heals or eases the worries. That’s why it is important that in July retail sales were 5.9% above July 2015 and well up on June 2016;car output was 7.1% up; Persimmon’s reservations of new homes were 17% up on July 2015; and house prices generally are about the same on average, with falls largely confined to expensive parts of London which have been falling since the new Stamp Duties came in in April.

When I was on the losing side in the previous European referendum I remember being unhappy for a bit, but I did not stop buying the things I needed. I thought the country would be poorer as a result of the EU contributions and the costs of the system, but I did not think this would be the main influence on economic activity.

I am sticking with over 2% growth for 2017. I suspect the only question is, how long before other forecasters get back there, after a period of wearing  their Brexit glasses of doom in denial of the evidence.

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51 Comments

  1. Lifelogic
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Indeed as you say “wearing their Brexit glasses of doom in denial of the evidence”, They all still think they were right.

    Of course growth could be far better still is Mrs May and Hammond get their act together and started undoing the huge damage Osborne has done, cutting the state sector, lowering taxes, cutting red tape and cutting out the endless government waste that is everywhere. They have not even scrapped HS2 yet or given the go ahead to Heathrow or Gatwick. What is she waiting for?

    Why is she still mucking about with gender pay reporting and other insanities?

    • graham1946
      Posted August 28, 2016 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      It is called displacement activity – useful to fool the voters into thinking they are actually doing something whereas they will just bin all the reports unread when they are received.

      Getting on with Brexit would be a better use of government time and save money – every week of delay is another 200 million down the pan. Now we have the result, we don’t hear of the 350 million a week anymore, whilst the NHS is in crisis and could do with some of it.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 1, 2016 at 8:51 am | Permalink

        Mrs May is it seems rather more concerned with workers and customers on company boards, gender pay reporting, fairness, the gender pay gap and other such left tosh.

        At least that was the gist of her lefty Downing Street speech.

    • Hope
      Posted August 28, 2016 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      We read Hammond wanting to to stay in the so called single market at any cost and ODonnell claiming the public might might not want Brexit but some form of loser relationship, his view sounds very much l like the five presidents report. Why does he think the public view might be conditioned? The continued propaganda by the media and govt? How about sacking Hammond for being out of touch with the public wish to leave the EU, this means the single market as well. And take away the title and pension from ODonnel for his treacherous talk against the wish of the public? When the public have clearly expressed a view and it should now be accepted and acted upon. No more nonsense by May. We read the appalling immigration figured for Dec-March this week of her failure to control immigration when she was HS. Action needs to be taken to regain our sovereignty, control the borders and free ourselves from the shakes of the Undemocratic EU oligarch.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 29, 2016 at 8:17 am | Permalink

        It’s giving diehard Remainders more time to regroup and organise themselves to overturn the verdict of the people and keep us in the EU.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    It was amazing to listen to Any Questions yesterday with the half baked opinions of nearly all the panellists on the gender pay gap nonsense. There is no gender pay gap beyond that caused by the choices the genders make. This in the subjects they choose to study, the jobs they choose to take and the work life balance choices they make particularly after having children. If there were lots of underpaid women willing to work hard then the market would clearly snap them up and it would self correct.

    How can supposedly intelligent people have such moronic and crass PC/”BBC think” opinions? Do they simply not understand the statistics? How can they expert to get more female engineers when so few females even choose to study Further Maths, Physics and Computer science? Do they actually believe what they are saying? It is so clearly complete drivel as even a cursory look at the facts & statistic shows?

    Daft proposals like gender pay gap reporting and quotas just generate pointless parasitic jobs and lower overall productivity and pay. Can Mrs May not see this? I she also innumerate & irrational?

    Or does she know it is daft and counterproductive but just think it is good politics? Which is it? Most of the woman I know freely admit that they are not looking for higher paid work at any cost but a work life balance that suits them particularly after they have had children.

  3. alan jutson
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Not planning to spend any less this year than any other year, indeed have plans to spend a little more, the only drawback, interest income on my savings is down considerably due to Mr Carney’s actions which at a stroke have allowed the Banks to increase their margins.

    All pensioners with savings I guess will also have less income to spend.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 28, 2016 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      The banks are getting away with murder. Virtually no interest on deposits yet huge margins, fees and restrictive terms on even secure lending. What is the government or competition authorities doing about it?

      Cut out the rip off bank middlemen seems to be the best thing to do. Tricky investing in quoted equities too as even many large companies seem to get away with essentially fictitious accounts. Perhaps the EIS and SEIS schemes are best if you structure them right, daft restrictions and catches there too. Why do we have such daft tax laws?

    • Hope
      Posted August 28, 2016 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      The Tory govt have proven to be against strivers, workers, savers, pensioners and the prudent. It is all about the rich and feckless. Banks margins increased at the expense of the above, one nation, a fair nation etc spouted by May and already the actions of her govt and associated organisations are in stark contrast.

    • Peter Lavington
      Posted August 29, 2016 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

      Put your money in shares. In the longer term they will go up and you get dividends. There is no logic in keeping money in the bank.

  4. Alexis
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    I felt there would be a mini boom after the leave result. Just a little confirmation bias, really, but my forecast was still better than the official one. 🙂

    Regarding house prices and sales, the government does seem to have conveniently forgotten the effect of the punitive stamp duty changes. They got what they wanted: potential landlords were frustrated, or took their investment money elsewhere. There is no cause to complain, or try to lay the blame at Brexit’s door.

    • Jack
      Posted August 28, 2016 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      JR still refers to interest rate cuts as “monetary easing”, when in reality it’s monetary tightening. Banks lend based on income, interest rates are such a small factor in borrowing, and the effects of higher rates on savings outweighs the increased borrowing costs anyway, since the economy is a net receiver of interest income (from the govt).

      Put simply, higher interest rates cause higher inflation, ceteris paribus, via the interest income channel. And lower rates cause lower inflation. It’s remarkable that only MMTers understand this, the mainstream still thinks lower rates “just need more time” to work. Well, Japan”s been trying for over a quarter century and their central bankers keep saying they need more time.

      With all that said, I don’t support the BoE raising rates. Higher rates have negative effects for many, such as increased storage costs for businesses which causes higher prices and discourages them to keep their shelves stocked etc.

      In fact it’s clear we should just have a permanent zero-rate policy at the BoE. Then use fiscal policy to meet the concerns of pensioners / savers just like everyone else. After all, the government deficit equals the savings of the non-government (me and you) to the penny! If you want to allow people to save more, by definition you support a larger government deficit!!

      • Jack
        Posted August 28, 2016 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        This comment was meant to be to the commenter above the commenter I replied to! The one talking about their savings and interest income. My mistake

  5. Anonymous
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    The problem is that we can be talked into recession (I’m amazed we haven’t gone into one already)

    There is an imminent energy crisis and Brexit will be blamed. But this event has been anticipated for many years now. It must be thwarted.

    Also – racial inequalities are getting worse according to Chairman May. Of course they are. We are importing more poor and ethnic minority people. So new arrivals are less well off than the British and unequal.

    What the average voter needs to know is that the easiest route to equality is not to make everyone richer but to make everyone equally poor. That’s the plan.

    Social problems brought with mass immigration keep the Left in work and keep those who want a decent wage out of it.

  6. Ian Wragg
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    We have a once in a lifetime chance to free up trade and prosper. We need to be free of the dead hand of Brussels and embrace the wider world.
    I am thoroughly sick of the whining remainiacs and unelected Lords trying to put a spanner in the works.
    If todays Telegraph report is true about civil servants trying to frustrate the leaving process they should be warned and face summary dismissal with loss of pension.
    That would concentrate their minds.
    As for these vexatious challenges they should be ignored and let the government be charged with contempt.
    Then we could sort out the judges who make their own laws.

  7. turboterrier
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    result of the shock of Brexit

    That is the whole and in my mind the only reason we are bumping along the bottom towards the exit and all those trying to ambush the process still are banging on in this way as they are totally in denial and for the benefit of the country of all of us that believe in our future outside the EU they should resign their positions en mass. Their childlike behaviour is causing uncertainty across all our market areas and in reality they are like the condemned man waiting for the last minute phone call for a stay of execution.

    OT.

    We DO NOT NEED new taxes for the saving of the NHS. What we need is a total rethink of how we waste our money on lost causes on top heavy expensive management within the organisation. Have none of the ministers within the health department never heard of Force Field Analysis? It is a simple process but it works. Before demanding more money stop wasting the funding you already have. Identify the real problems before you come up with sticking plaster solutions

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 28, 2016 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      I have not heard of “force field analysis” but it is pretty obvious what needs to happen to the NHS. People need some choice and competition. It is a virtual state run monopoly free at the point of rationing and delay so what do you expect? Take what we give you when we finally give it to you or get lost. This seems to be the message. We have your money already so the patients are just a nuisance to them to be deterred or delayed if at all possible.

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 29, 2016 at 7:59 am | Permalink

        The NHS should only provide the basics: survival and physical comfort.

        Anything else should be private. Sex changes, fertility, cosmetic – some advanced surgical procedures beyond making someone comfortable.

        • Anonymous
          Posted August 29, 2016 at 8:00 am | Permalink

          Only those born here or who have contributed to it should be able to use it ‘free’ at the point of use.

    • Hope
      Posted August 28, 2016 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      It is about conditioning the minds of the public to accept an EU light, loser relationship planned by the five presidents report.

  8. Geoff not Hoon
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    I do wonder with such high levels of personal borrowing in the UK whether a continued rise in retail spending can continue. Pundits say that once A50 is triggered the pound will suffer so couple rising prices to the above isn’t it a little worrying?

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 29, 2016 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      Remaining is worrying too.

  9. acorn
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Keep an eye on the following at the BoE http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/boeapps/iadb/FromShowColumns.asp?Travel=NIxSSx&SearchText=LPMB6VG%2c+LPMB6VH%2c+LPMB6VI

    Select the three time series. Stick with the HTML view, if your computer lacks horsepower. See how the % growth rate collapsed in 08/09; and how Osborne “austerity” clamped down credit expansion until it became obvious even to him that the budget was automatically spending itself and a budget surplus wasn’t going to happen by 2015.

    If Chancellor Hammond even mentions anything to do with austerity; living within our means or a budget surplus by 2020/25, buy a one way ticket out of here. Hammond needs to up his spending on big productive infrastructure stuff, it won’t cost him anything. The private sector will be queuing up to help him spend it, preferably with UK manufactured kit.

  10. fedupsoutherner
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    OMG. When will this petty thinking by the banks and their cohorts end? Do they have no faith in what could be a Great Britain again if they could only find some courage and belief in our country? Why can’t they think out of the box? Trading with the rest of the world cannot bring down growth. Yes, it might frighten them but I and many others are still spending and going on with life as we did before. We still bought our new British built car, are still going on holiday this year and I spent the money given to me for my 60th without a thought of recession or anything else. The money men really need to start living in the real world and instead of trying to frighten everyone, they need to believe in the workers and the people who want to expand their businesses. Bite the bullet and admit they were wrong and the British public were right to vote OUT.

  11. fedupsoutherner
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    I hear this morning that Hinkley might be going ahead. This will be the one thing that could curtail growth eventually in this country. Energy prices will go through the roof and industry will suffer. How stupid can our politicians be? The renewable industry will now say that their wind farms, solar, tidal etc are a good deal and we will be doomed. When will this country start fracking? Let’s get back some control over our own destiny.

  12. Bert Young
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Economic forecasts are adjectival projections ; they cannot be cast iron proof or considered as reliable . Over the many years I was looking at them and endeavouring to feed their information into the business I ran , I never found their projections helped . I recall that in the 70s when interest rates were extremely high and consumer spending was in the doldrums , I held back recruiting more specialists ; this was a mistake . Demand for the services my organisation offered increased substantially necessitating a move to bigger premises ; it proved to be a time for development and expansion .

    It is no different today . The IMF , the IFS , Osborne and Carney have all proclaimed forecasts that have either been “doom” or spelt out the need for degrees of caution . The present situation suggests they all got it wrong . Carney’s decision to reduce the cost of borrowing theoretically should have made the weekly shopping more expensive – in fact he cast a cloud over the retail sector as a whole ; he was wrong on both counts . The IMF have readjusted its forecast on our growth to a more positive picture and have downgraded that of the EU – quite a different sort of story to that of a few weeks ago . Osborne has been sacked ( about time ! ) and the IFS is more optimistic .

    I don’t rule out the need for economic forecasting altogether ; what I do – and what I suggest everyone does , is to take their statements with a huge pinch of salt and base judgements on what you experience and see before your own eyes . Looking around the corner can always be full of surprises ; things are more often than not more rosy .

  13. agricola
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Remain have used polls and economic forecasts to try to achieve the results they desire. All they have managed is a loss of faith in pollsters and economic forecasters. They have consigned themselves to the level of entrail interpreters, such that they will be ignored.

    Can we now start addressing the real problems that beset us as a nation. Most of such problems are in the hands of politicians and government, the negative element in society. The good news is always down to entrpreneurs and business, despite the clammy hand of government. I have in mind porous borders, dreadful trains, an NHS at breaking point, an astronomic national debt, inadequate housing, a weakness in post school training that results in a need for skills from overseas, around 2 million illegal residents in the UK, a lack of British identity among many who live in the UK legally, a lack of clarity in English Law that tolerates a duality of law, political correctness that allows slavery and sexual exploitatation to go largely uncheckd in the UK, and finally a BBC that is not fit for purpose in terms of it’s news coverage and guardianista bias.

    Brexit may be the new dawn, but the above should keep you busy in it’s rectification.

  14. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    JR, if your growth forecast is correct then it will be a matter of months before the natural growth of the UK economy exceeds all the benefit that it ever got from the creation of the EU Single Market. According to the estimates accepted by the EU Commission that was a one-off addition of about 2% to the collective GDP of the EU countries, but according to this German study the benefit to the UK was below that average at more like 1%:

    https://www.bertelsmann-stiftung.de/fileadmin/files/BSt/Publikationen/GrauePublikationen/Policy-Brief-Binnenmarkt-en_NW_02_2014.pdf

    “20 years of the European single market: growth effects of EU integration”.

    OK, so even though the overall effects on GDP have been very marginal the Single Market has made life easier for those involved in international trade, and as at present we are intimately tied into those practical arrangements to facilitate trade we have to take care not to disrupt them, but that is also in the interests of the other EU countries.

    I think it’s also worth pointing out that just because a particular EU member state does relatively little direct trade with the UK, and/or runs a trade deficit with the UK, that does not mean that it would be entirely insulated from the damaging effects of a collapse in the arrangements for trade between the UK and the other EU countries.

    The economic and financial damage would feed through to such member states as well, some of which are not well placed to sustain it, and that could be a significant factor when it comes to them casting their votes on the common negotiating position of the other EU member states under Article 50(2):

    http://www.lisbon-treaty.org/wcm/the-lisbon-treaty/treaty-on-European-union-and-comments/title-6-final-provisions/137-article-50.html

    The agreement “shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.”

  15. Anna
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    I think one of the reasons confidence hasn’t collapsed is that many who voted Remain did so reluctantly. I was one of those. I was totally disillusioned with the EU but pusillanimously succumbed to the predictions of Project Fear. I had a few sleepless nights after 23 June then gradually realised that Brexit was, in fact, Project Opportunity. I am sure many Remainers now feel the same and are looking forward to an invigorated nation and economy. Certainly, if the Remainers campaigning for another referendum get their way, I think they might be shocked at another, bigger Leave vote.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 29, 2016 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      A big lie promoted by Remain. That those on their side are EU enthusiasts.

      I know of not single EU enthusiast in my circle.

      Every single one of those who said they’d voted Remain added “my heart wanted to Leave but my head said Remain”

      Actually their heads said no such thing. It was their backsides twittering their heads over Project Fear.

  16. McBryde
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Captain May sails the Good Ship Britannia back on course for Europe by slowly adjusting the bearing and passing a few distracting sights.

    I get a bit depressed reading this blog. The smart people here are frustrated, but will the majority of voters get fooled by these delaying tactics? Will they be tricked into wanting a Norway model, for instance, when all these damaging projections have eroded international confidence in us?

  17. Mark B
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Good afternoon. (makes a change).

    The reason the market has not changed after post referendum is, as I have said before here, nothing has changed. And why should things change when we are still members of the EU ?

    Those forecasting economic Armageddon clearly did not, or do not understand the above. They need to be asked and made to explain why a simple vote to leave the EU at sometime in the future would be so harmful to the UK ? Their thinking just does not make sense and therefore, neither do their forecasting.

    Post BREXIT things will be very different. And it is that which we must concentrate on and make sure that the effects are as minimal as possible. To that end I am not overly concerned that we have not issued and Art.50 but, I am concerned that those who wish the UK to leave the UK do not seem to have a clear and coherent plan and, seem to think the EU is all about trade and nothing else. As T.Blair quite rightly said about the EU; “It is about power.”

    Leaving a trade block is straightforward. Leaving a Supranational government that has been doing your work for you for 40+ years not so. We are entangled in a web of treaties and obligations and need to carefully unravel ourselves. We are in a legal minefield and need to watch our step – to mix metaphors.

  18. Richard1
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    The one part of Project Fear which has been right has been the fall in the pound. We are all now poorer than we were. Partly of course this was a self fulfilling prediction as the Brexit vote has led to another foolish and unnecessary cut in interest rates and to more unneeded and useless QE. Do these academic Keynsians not realise that hammering the currency and talking about extreme measures such as negative interest rates themselves damage confidence? Switzerland has an exceptionally strong currency but shows consistent growth, runs a balance of payments surplus and budget in balance. (And has lower taxes and better public services).

  19. Roy Grainger
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    The problem is that some of the disappointed Remainiacs are in a position where they can actually bring about the recession they were predicting and thus prove themselves right. Chief among these is Mr Carney and his MPC chums who have launched into QE again as if a recession was actually happening. Mr Hammond may fall into this camp too although it is hard to say as he and Mrs May seem to have taken a vow of silence (not that that is a bad thing necessarily).

    It is entertaining to predict how PMs will eventually fail as they all eventually do. Mrs May’s tendency to talk a good game without actually delivering anything looks to me like a fatal flaw. Let’s see.

  20. James Munroe
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    All the talk about the ‘shock’ of Brexit seems to have no foundation in the financial arena.

    It seems to be a ‘psychological shock’, to the egos of the complacent Remainers, at the BBC, ITV, Sky, the BOE, and the FT etc.

    The UK establishment is full of people who love to say “I told you so”.

    Like dogs with a bone, they just won’t let go.

    Much talk of a second Referendum.

    Having spoken with many people after the vote, I have been genuinely surprised at the way people voted.

    Managing Directors of Companies I worked at, shocking me with their anti-EU sentiments, which were never revealed in the years I worked for them…until they were given a chance at the ballot box. Hardly the anti-immigration stereotype, the Remainers blame for their defeat.

    Others that I know, in business and social circles, voted Remain, and admit they were frightened into it, by the Remain campaign of fear. There are expressions of regret that they did not see through the lies and voted to Remain.

    Those who I have spoken to that voted Remain and have no regrets, still seem shocked and in denial.
    “Why did you vote to Remain?”.
    “As a famous member of Royalty may have said…give me 3 good reasons for staying in the EU”.

    Answer, usually – “I just think we are better together”.

    Given a second Referendum, and this is a personal opinion here; I suspect there may well be a 60% plus in favour of leaving.

    I wonder if those pushing for a second Referendum have any idea that the sentiments of voters on the EU issue, may not be what they think…

  21. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just been listening to Lord O’Donnell, one of our unelected legislators-for-life, talking rubbish about leaving the EU, or as he would prefer not leaving the EU, here:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/2016/08/28/whitehall-must-not-try-to-block-brexit/

    “Whitehall must not try to block Brexit”

    Apparently the referendum vote was about returning power to Parliament, and therefore the present occupants of Parliament like himself should have the opportunity to say that they don’t want power to be returned to Parliament, they want to stay in the EU. This of course is why it became necessary to ask the people directly in a referendum; only a small minority of the present members of their national Parliament believe in its sovereignty, the great majority having transferred their primary allegiance to the EU.

    Nevertheless he ends by saying that we’ve had a vote and everyone needs to respect that and accept that “we are on our route out”.

    So why not do the diplomatic thing and politely inform the governments of the other EU member states that we intend to leave? Oh, because “the route out” we agreed to in 2008 when we ratified the Lisbon Treaty is Article 50 TEU, and apparently that was designed by the Commission to disadvantage any member state which wanted to leave.

    Well, Article 50 TEU is actually the very slightly modified Lisbon Treaty successor of Article I-59 in the original Draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe,

    “Adopted by consensus by the European Convention on 13 June and 10 July 2003”,

    and

    “Submitted to the President of the European Council in Rome” on 18 July 2003, “on behalf of the European Convention”, by “Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, Président de la Convention” and two others who were Vice-Présidents:

    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.C_.2003.169.01.0001.01.ENG&toc=OJ:C:2003:169:TOC

    So if it was indeed designed by the Commission as he claims it was then agreed and proposed by the Convention, and then approved by EU leaders and eventually by the national parliaments including our own.

    Moreover when our Parliament passed the European Union (Amendment) Act 2008 to approve the Lisbon Treaty and allow the government to finally ratify it parliamentarians did not reserve the right to control the service of a notice under Article 50 TEU, even though they did reserve the right to control certain other decisions:

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2008/7/section/6/enacted

    “Parliamentary control of decisions”

    “(2) Parliamentary approval is given if –

    (a) in each House of Parliament a Minister of the Crown moves a motion that the House approves Her Majesty’s Government’s intention to support the adoption of a specified draft decision, and

    (b) each House agrees to the motion without amendment.”

    Arguably parliamentarians should have started to give some thought to the question of whether the legal power to send in the notification mentioned in Article I-59 of the EU Constitution should be a purely executive power, or the government should require prior parliamentary approval, at that time, 13 years ago, rather than leaving it until after the people have voted in a referendum and said that they want to leave the EU.

  22. Carrots
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Booker in Sunday Telegraph on Spinelli 1941 United States of Europe quiet (secret) plans.
    Also 20 years before in 1922 Richard von Coudenhove Kalergi Pan European Movement again quiet ( secret) plans.
    Without the Internet this would be a done deal. Now at least information can be put out for anyone to read and decide for themselves.

  23. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Pre-Referendum they all said “It is a leap into the dark” Again, how come they can see in the dark? Night goggles? Owl-genetic transplant? Fear of loss of face?

  24. Antisthenes
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    The human mind is very strange. It has considerable capacity yet we generally use very little of it. We construct boxes in our mind that most will not venture out of and we become blinkered and narrow minded because of it. Those few who think outside their box and not always think intuitively often achieve wonderful fulfilling things that not only benefits them but the rest of us as well. Those who do are to be found amongst the most successful; entrepreneurs, inventors, great statesmen and the like. None of which do away with the box altogether. The one that does will be the first super human.

    Logic tells us that our knowledge is limited by the verifiable data available to us. So when making a statement we should be very sure of our facts and speculation although useful should never be employed alone in deciding what we believe in or in our decision making or our planning or forecasting. We do so at our peril. As inevitably we will make wrong harmful choices. Speculation if believed by enough people will trigger events that may have damaging consequences that non speculation would have avoided . Conclusions arrived at from non evidence backed speculation gave rise to religions and some other very bad ideologies for which we have and are paying a heavy price.

    The forecasts of doom and gloom in the run up and post the Brexit referendum is a prime example of the type of thinking that I describe above. So are worthless without collaborating evidence and pointlessly make us speculate whether they are correct or not. We should refrain from commenting on our speculations unless there are compelling evidence backed reasons not to. Sometimes that is the case but more often it is malicious or for personal gain or to further a nefarious agenda. Those are the categories that most of the remainers speculation resides.

    • CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
      Posted August 28, 2016 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

      Antisthenes:
      There’s not much outside of the box. Each time you venture out. Just another box. Sometimes that box encloses the box you’ve left: sometimes it is a box alongside the one you’ve left. Juxtapositioned if you’re posh enough to term it so.If you’re “lucky” you’ll espy lots of other boxes. But there’s no way out. The human box isn’t like being in the innermost Russian doll where you leap out of the small one into a bigger one and then a bigger one and then you’re out into utter boxlessness. What’s worse the boxes are “positioned” in a circle, even a globe. You set off and land up where you started. But you’re old then. You know by then you may just as well have stayed put. This box is where it’s at.

      • McBryde
        Posted August 30, 2016 at 8:24 am | Permalink

        You can transcend the thinking process during some forms of meditation though. Humans can go out of the box that way. The theory goes that if you practice it enough, over the years, the mind can become free from the boundaries of human conditioning.

        I’ve experienced transcendence myself in that way from time to time. I read of people who seem to be permanently established in that state of mind.

        So, there is hope for us after all 🙂

  25. Don Dutta
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    John I hope you are right with the 2% growth for 2017 as you have been in the past. With BoE rate cut down to 0.25%, banks are punishing savers like myself who have worked hard all their lives.

  26. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Off Topic:
    I ordered a new printer for my PC via a well-known American online retailer/wholesaler. Just a cheapo thing providing the page-reality of my typed thoughts. The box of goodies arrived promptly. The printer is Japanese. The American retailer is registered in Luxembourg. The guarantee reads “Ireland” and says if I register then it is only valid if I use it in Ireland. My Irish friend says Dublin is a long way to go for an Englishman like me just to have his printer break-down and get his own back.
    The printer instruction booklet is printed in Vietnam, and every EU nation-state language is in it and peculiarly Turkish too at the end. There’s forward thinking for you!

    A printer USB cable was not included but it seems the Chinese make the cheapest. The packaging of the printer itself was made in Vietnam . The brown paper external packet was also made in Vietnam. I am beginning to wonder if I would not have been better off buying a printer from Vietnam as the Japanese seem to prefer them to their own. Maybe I could order a small Vietnamese gentleman or lady mailed to me who can do my printing for me.
    The delivery details to my door indicate the whole box and contents were first authorised in Luxembourg, sent to Manchester in Lancashire which then sent them to Birmingham, West Midlands who sent them to Sheffield, South Yorkshire and further north to my address. If there is a fault I am to to return the box and contents not to any of the aforementioned but to Fife in Scotland.
    My printer paper, none came with the printer..well I got that from my nearest office supply shop. Looking, the paper is made in Brazil.

    Capitalism is better than Socialism. When Vietnam was a Socialist nation, we did not have them do our printing. We did quite a lot of our printing in Czechoslovakia, especially German fairy story books which have historic and elaborate drawings.

    Economists need to take a cold look at the world and determine if there can be improvement in organisation.But when at times, potatoes are imported and sold in the UK from Egypt…yes they are, really!…then one loses hope somehow.

  27. McBryde
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    And now it starts… The papers are coming out today with a new deal arranged by May’s Minister for Finance whereby it seems there’s a good chance we can stay in the single market by approaching discussions sector by sector.

    But Davis and Fox are standing in the way. Being in a vulnerable position in that they been left to start up on their own without having been given a structure to work within, they don’t like each other, and they have to compete with each other to claw staff from Johnson – who doesn’t want to give up any of the Foreign Office duties and powers – they could be made into a joke.

    You can see what the Remain think tanks might have cooked up for us here:
    A gloomy economic future touted, then a ‘breakthrough’ olive branch – but rejected by impotent squabbling new ministers [who are supposed to share a posh mansion with Johnson].
    Serve that up on a sliver tray with a smile and get a public endorsement.

    We have to be wary!

  28. Stephen Berry
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    JR: “If confidence is going to be that badly hit as they say, you would expect the hit to be at its worst immediately after the vote.”

    And that is precisely what Remainers were forecasting. An immediate recession because of a catastrophic hit to confidence would demand an emergency budget and could even tip the world into an economic downturn. Add the threat to peace in Northern Ireland (John Major and Tony Blair) and the endangering of Gibraltar and the Falklands (William Hague) truly did our cup runneth over with disasters. How absurd it all seems now.

    Please note however, that Remainers are shifting their ground. One tactic is to maintain that economic trouble will only hit after the UK leaves the EU and this is what they said all along. Another tactic is to get a panel of academics and lawyers on the BBC to explain the immense difficulties of untangling the UK from the legal framework of the EU. The assumption – never openly stated – is that this would take so long and be such a hassle that we might as well stay in. But I take the opposite stance. Why would I ever want to member of a club which took years and years of effort to resign from?

  29. bigneil
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    Note to john’s website manager/creator.

    when a poster has typed a message out – -then put ONE slight mistake in their email address – -why does hitting the “back” button not just take you back to what has been typed???
    why oh why is all the text deleted – -some of us are old and typing something without a slight fault is hard – – -please please please just leave the text – and ask for the correct email address to be entered.

    • James Munroe
      Posted August 29, 2016 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      I always ‘copy’ my comment (using the Windows command) before I post any comment, on any website.
      Many websites seem to lose comments, because of the way they are designed.
      On some websites a comment can be created without logging in.
      After logging in, the comment has gone.

      If you ‘copy’ the comment after you finish, as I mentioned above, you can easliy ‘paste’ it back in again.

  30. Gettingabitworried
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    Huge long interesting comment / analysis on Guido by Hayley near top of Sunday best comments re Corbyn, May, Brexit. I hope its wrong about May. Surely everyones not been brainwashed.

  31. Margaret
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    The majority of people I bet, and remember a bet is a forecast do not take much notice of the many different forecasts. Some might argue that a forecast is based on evidence but the more common type of everyday evidence can be said to be ethnographic as people look at their more immediate surroundings and see how life has impacted on them.

    If I go to some parts of the country I will see people in badly cared for slums smoking, drinking out of cans, socialising in their pyjamas outside on the street, living on benefits and driving new large cars. Who is to say that they are not happy as they laugh , make the slightest complaint about services to demonstrate their contempt and wouldn’t acknowledge a growth forecast if they saw one.

    Then I see others struggling on a daily basis , working 40 hours plus, stressed out, trying to be aware and join the ones who have more money and higher wages wishing to emulate them to get a different lifestyle with very little joy in their life. They are judged by those who hold the purse strings and are more like them so they might look at the forecasts.

    The we listen to those who complain about everything and couldn’t undertake a responsible job even with a high salary . They haven’t got a good word to say about anybody except themselves and their own background are far too opinionated . They forecast with their blinker on.

    I believe that buying ,selling, achieving comes in waves directed by a few who don’t say but do .The flow comes from them , they take little notice of the forecasts and life grows or otherwise from how they live their lives, therefore from a few to the many, from the particular to the general ,they have more influence than the forecasters, As some look at these key people, if they are known, they can be stopped or allowed to prosper, depending on sense or the jealousy of those who spout and forecast and don’t get it right. Egos unfortunately have greater power than perspective.

    • Margaret
      Posted August 29, 2016 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      Lots of typos here, due to keyboard problems but the gist is plain.

  32. McBryde
    Posted August 29, 2016 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Monday:
    It’s encouraging to see today that the Times has published an article where Mervin King says “Britain can be better off outside Europe”.

    ‘Lord King rejected the analysis in a hard-hitting critique of the Remain campaign. “An unfortunate aspect of the campaign was the government forecasts of what the consequences of Brexit might be, which inevitably were highly speculative, in particular for the long run.” he said.
    “The problem is that the long-run judgment then feeds back to the short-run forecast because it was assumed that people would anticipate the long-run. The only honest answer about the long-run consequences is we don’t really know.” ….’

    ‘….In a swipe at George Osborne, the former chancellor, he described the campaign as “counterproductive” and “insulting to the intelligence of the voter”….’

  • 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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