Don’t the Treasury know the referendum debate is over?

According to the Times someone in the Treasury thinks the UK could be a lot worse off outside the single or internal market. They have put some more figures into the Times that make some bits of Project Fear look quite modest. What is the point of putting out silly figures that bear no relationship to the current reality of the UK economy? Why suggest the UK will be in a weak position when we leave the single market, when it is more than likely the rest of the EU who has much more to lose than us wants to keep good access to the UK and therefore has to continue with our good access to them. We now know the Treasury figures for the short term impact were wrong, so why trust their longer term numbers? With or without a special deal with the EU the UK will have good access to the EU’s internal market, on terms as least as good as every other non EU country around the world does.

As people shouted out in one of the public meetings I spoke to during the campaign when the Remain side used their Project Fear figures “We don’t believe you”. These numbers are bad economics and even worse politics. The UK needs to show a united and confident face for the discussions over trade with the rest of the EU.


  1. Mark Watson
    October 11, 2016

    Also in the Telegraph. It made my blood boil,frankly.
    The most pessimistic trash to come out of the Treasury in quite some time,and seriously undermining our negotiating position.
    Time for an insidious clearout at the Treasury.

  2. Iain Moore
    October 11, 2016

    I note our ‘impartial’ BBC , has made much of this £65 billion poorer, what they seem to have failed to report is that it is 15 years out, which as economics are concerned are about as accurate as trying to play darts blindfolded.

  3. alan jutson
    October 11, 2016

    Afraid some people have a closed mind and a one eyed view of the World/EU.

    Thats why they do the job they are doing, and are not at the sharp end where you have to be fleet of foot and open minded.

    I see Miliband and Clegg are moaning again, once again leaders who have failed in the past trying to look backwards instead of forwards.

    I see it is reported today that Ken Clarke has suggested that Mr Cameron told him back in 2013 he was always going to vote remain, and then went through with his sham negotiations (begging) with the EU, which he though would be a good enough show to convince us all to vote remain.

    The EU apparently thought he was not serious and we would all vote remain as well, hence the reason they gave us (Cameron) nothing.

  4. SM
    October 11, 2016

    Maybe I am oversimplifying matters, but has there ever been a time when Treasury forecasting has been accurate?

    Answers on the back of a used envelope, please.

  5. turboterrier
    October 11, 2016

    Its about time that these Treasury people should also be on paid by results. Articles like this are no good to anybody and for one nano second they should think about what real messages they are sending out not with in the country but to investors abroad.

    A sight of their P45 just to show there stamps have been paid would be sufficient to focus their minds. They never seem to remember they work for us!!

  6. Bert Young
    October 11, 2016

    One has to remember the bias that has existed between the Civil Service and its “lefties”. The independence that the Civil Service enjoys is at the expense of the electorate in more ways than one ; the will of the people should not be disregarded by such a small influential group .

    It is up to the Minister to brief and instruct what the current policy is and to ensure that what happens accords to this instruction ; Ministers may not be used to this form of leadership and abuse may follow . The Treasury has always considered itself an intellectual power house and the centre of influence in the Civil Service ; it has to learn that it lives in a democracy .

  7. Denis Cooper
    October 11, 2016

    “According to the Times someone in the Treasury … ”

    I wonder who that could be.

  8. zorro
    October 11, 2016

    Indeed, it is quite outrageous and needs to be investigated. They, of course, quote their worst based scenario (what exactly is that?) and ridiculously state that the UK will be £66 billion worse off each year out of the Single Market!! (Where is the tangible evidence?) Correct me if I am wrong, but is this the same Single Market which has at best allegedly added 1% growth into the UK economy at the very best whilst ‘enjoying’ the benefits of giving free access to all EU citizens to the UK without any cost whatsoever (at least very rarely mentioned), paying net £10 billion to access it, and losing our ability to negotiate free trade deals with other countries? That same Single Market?

    Well, last time I looked, the country actively voted to LEAVE the EU including the Single Market which effectively defines it…. We cannot be a little bit pregnant after all!

    Yet still those political titans Ed ‘Edstone’ Miliband, and Mr Farron (who represents some minor party) say those Treasury figures are ‘proof’ positive that life does not exist nor is at all possible outside the Single Market. So John, please consider yourself reprimanded and do not even think of visiting any countries outside the Single Market (i.e. not members – these two chumps clearly don’t understand the principle of ‘access’ to markets) because there is clearly no life there…. just desert.


  9. Oggy
    October 11, 2016

    Someone in the Europhile treasury needs to be taken to one side and read the riot act over this, if not fired.
    I believe the report was initially asked for by George Osborne, but whoever it was it is obviously for the purpose of stoking up a lot of anti Brexit rhetoric.

  10. Richard Butler
    October 11, 2016

    The comments sections of The Independent and and others reveals mass hysterics. People have this base assumption that a future in the EU was characterised by no change and no bumps in the road.

    They also wallow ignorance, unaware the Treasury assumed the most ridiculous of inputs such as no trade deals with anyone and the EU wishing to self harm by hampering its own trade and not having good access to our rich fishing grounds.

    It really is getting monumentally pathetic.

    The problem is the leave camp needs to be relentlessly as busy putting out positive stories instead of letting the terrified fear mongers grab the narrative

  11. English Pensioner
    October 11, 2016

    The Treasury is probably looking at what we might lose in terms of trade from the EU following Brexit but not looking at what we are likely to gain from elsewhere. I suspect if they were asked what is likely to be the value of any upturn in trade with non-EU countries, I suspect they would have no idea whatsoever.

  12. Lifelogic
    October 11, 2016

    Hard Brexit will cost Treasury up to £66bn a year, ministers are told.

    What tosh and anyway what about all the opportunities it opens up. We can have cheap non green crap energy, fracking, trade more freely with much of the World, supply more of our home market, we could cancel daft projects like cancel HS2 and Hinkley and do sensible things instead, we can lower taxes and have a bonfire of red tape, we can have selective only immigration of the best, we can become a brilliant destination for the rich and hard working.

    Alas we have lefty, big state, interventionist and tedious plodder May. Let us hope Hammond at least has some free market sense in his Autumn Statement.

    All the state has to do is remove the straight jacket they put on the productive at every turn.

  13. Beecee
    October 11, 2016

    Was this ‘forecast’ released with or without authorisation?

    Either way Mr Hammond should be in Parliament, and then on every news channel, making clear that this is no longer the situation and the forecast is no longer relevant.

    Whoever is responsible should be fired, closely followed by Mr Hammond if he continues to give short change to our prospects once out of the EU. He must also to be told in no uncertain terms to stop dissing the efforts of the Brexit team in public!

  14. Mitchel
    October 11, 2016

    “The UK needs to show a united and confident face for the discussions over trade with the rest of the EU”

    Of course but the vested interests in favour of Remain are powerful and have their hands on many of the levers of influence,so I have never expected them to give in with a whimper regardless of the democratic process.

    A revolution is usually followed by a counter-revolution which in turn is frequently followed by a civil war.

    1. Hope
      October 12, 2016

      Osborne is still at his traitorous best trying to undermine the new UK position in the world. I would focus any inquiry of leaks from the Treasury to him.

  15. Lifelogic
    October 11, 2016

    Three cheers to JCB for leaving the CBI. Doubtless they can see all the many opportunities and freedoms in being well rid of the sclerotic and anti-democratic EU.

    Just get Theresa to wake up and start the bonfire of red tape and the cutting down of the state to size.

  16. Sam Stoner
    October 11, 2016

    You write: ” With or without a special deal with the EU the UK will have good access to the EU’s internal market, on terms as least as good as every other non EU country around the world does.”

    This is a good illumination of why you don’t get taken seriously outside your own tiny circle of admirers – you prefer wild simplifications over careful analysis of complex issues. The UK clearly will not have access “on terms as least as good as every other non EU country around the world does” unless it makes the concessions (on immigration, on budgetary contributions, on compliance with harmonised standards) which non EU countries such as Norway and Switzerland make. The EU would be putting itself out of business if it let the UK stop paying the price of membership yet still taking all the benefits, and it is simply not going to happen

    Reply The USA, China, India have no special deals!

    1. Anonymous
      October 12, 2016

      Sam Stoner – The EU IS puting itself out of business, without Brexit.

    2. Sam Stoner
      October 12, 2016

      Well precisely. That is why the USA, China and India do not have access to the EU’s internal market on terms as least as good as every other non EU country around the world . They lag far behind Norway, Switz etc. As will the UK. Unless it agrees to adopt large chunks of EU law and pay for the privilege too

  17. Mitchel
    October 11, 2016

    Off topic but will someone slap Andrew Mitchell down with his attempts to get us more deeply involved in Syria.

    “No-one wants to see a fire fight with Russia,no-one wants to shoot down a Russian plane but…….”-I rather fear it will be our planes that get shot down given the AA systems in place.

    Aleppo is not Guernica and certainly not Stalingrad.If he and his ilk want to do something,send them out there with rifles and let’s see how long they last with the headchoppers.It’s interesting to note that there appear to be no western journalists embedded with the anti-Assad forces,Kurds aside,I wonder why?

  18. Newmania
    October 11, 2016

    The treasury figures are on the conservative side in my view and certainly in the view of those dreadful people “experts “. The problem they have is that they find it very hard to look at the global impact of Brexit
    What I mean by this is that while they can put some sort of figure on the cost of Bank A moving a large portion of its operations to Paris or Dublin( as they will), they cannot calculate the cumulative loss of hub status the disinclination of a start up to choose London.
    That will also have knock on affects, you do not attack the Nations largest business and revenue provider without consequences.

    No the referendum is not over. The people have spoken but what exactly did they say ?

    Whatever John Redwood may like to pretend the referendum was on membership of the EU and that is all. Numerous Brexit proponents have since make it clear they did not intend that we abruptly take an axe to the UK economy which no-one voted for. Neither is it democratic in any true sense that Parliament is ignored as is half the country .That half includes almost all of its wealth creators, the majority of those working in any sense the majority of the young , who will live with it and pretty much every single person in the UK who undemands what the single market is ( yes I know there are exceptions…)

    It is not a question of talking Britain down there is still all to play for. The country would undoubtedly be happy with membership of the EEA with a real determination to cut down immigration for outside the EU and what safeguards we can negotiate on EU migrants ( that is possible ).

    Nearly half of us must put up with leaving the EU which is unwelcome in many ways , we must also accept the direction that country may well be takin which is ultimately to leave all of its associated institutions .We do not have to accept that this must be done in the most harmful way possible without any Parliamentary scrutiny , without the realties being subject to debate and without any of the democratic safeguards our representative democracy provides .

    That is a betrayal of every thread and fibre of this country

    Even a leave MP objected to the undemocratic and dangerously irresponsible attitude of the extremists .

    For the country to unite it must feel it has been heard and half of it very much does not
    That will not do and I suspect that even Mr Redwood knows it
    Reply Of course none of us voted to taking an axe to our economy and leaving the EU does no such thing!

    1. MerlinTheHammer
      October 12, 2016

      This guy ‘Newmania’ is all over the internet trolling and talking nonsense, spouting about what WE the Leavers ‘intended’ – as if we have all changed our minds and didn’t ACTUALLY want to leave the EU at all..!

      There IS ‘nothing to play for’ – we voted to LEAVE and there will be hell to play if it is not enacted. And the problem the Remainers have (after Cameron and Co lied, threatened, scaremongered and bullied) is that NOBODY believes a word they say now, even on the rare occasion they may be getting remotely close to the truth.

  19. Calais-lite
    October 11, 2016

    Contributions from variously partied MPs on BBC Parliament yesterday. They were all treading mostly over ground already covered prior to the Referendum vote. An ex-Labour leader,an ex-LibDem leader with an assortment of other faces struck the camera as cheeky mischievousness.
    An interpretation of their expressions and words could be that they wished to cause “as much grief” to Brexit Minister David Davis as possible. Also hoping to headline in their respective local papers “Our MP battled, fought with sword, spear and mace the TORY Brexit Minister, demanding answers to vital questions on jobs”

    Are we to experience ALL 600 odd MPs engaging in such nonsense for the next three years accompanied each November with photo-shoots plonking themselves disgustingly amidst poppy fields in France and staring half-drunkenly with sad photogenic lips at dead soldier tombstones? Oh yes, there are more cameras and microphones than they themselves carried.

  20. Tad Davison
    October 11, 2016

    According to Open Europe who quoted The Guardian newspaper, the former governor of The Bank of England, Lord Mervyn King made an interesting comment:

    Former Bank of England governor Lord King, has said in an interview: “The economy was slowing somewhat before the vote and we are in a position where the rest of the world is not offering us much help…So, from that point of view the fall in sterling is a welcome change.” And “while it has some downsides it certainly has a very large number of upsides, too.”

    I wonder if the treasury shares that view, and if not, why not?

    Tad Davison


  21. Denis Cooper
    October 11, 2016

    I’ve just been on google with the search terms [“liam fox” “british retail consortium”] to see if he has published any reply to their letter with its nonsensical claims about tariffs on consumer goods, and I only find the widespread media reports of their claims.

    I’ve also had a look for [“david davis” £66 billion] and as far as I can see so far he has said nothing to refute the report in the Times.

    Has Theresa May issued an instruction to David Davis and Liam Fox that they may not rebut any of these false claims which are being made to try to keep us in the EU’s Single Market and customs union, including the ones devised for George Osborne as part of his Project Fear before the referendum, and now one suspects being reissued on behalf of his successor Philip Hammond?

    1. Lifelogic
      October 12, 2016

      Good question.

    2. Bob
      October 12, 2016

      It feels a bit like Mrs May and fellow remainers are trying to turn it around by stealth, manipulating the currency and continuing Project Fear.
      Her choice of a Remainer for Chancellor should have been a red flag to Brexiters.

      And people ask why we need ukip.

  22. The Prangwizard
    October 11, 2016

    And steadfastness is required anout the currency. I see the BBC is scaremongering about the poor rate sgainst the euro at some airports. We all know that airports are the worst possible place to exchange currency but it suits the BBC and other Remain propangandists to quote figures.

    I earnestly hope that Hammond doesn’t get panicky and fall for the ‘something must be done’ school of politics and economics.

    He could quite easily ruin the whole Brexit opportunity and the benefits which will accrue from a lower exchange rate and to the economy as a whole if he lets his weakness towards the EU get ahead of the national interest.

  23. graham1946
    October 11, 2016

    Why now, 3 months after the vote? Who’s in charge of the Treasury? Is it not the Chancellor? Are these his real views? Are we being softened up by the Government?

    We will see when the Autumn Statement comes out next month what The Chancellor is made of, but surely, JR you can’t be surprised when some of us are rather suspicious of the motives of your Government and whether we will actually get the full monty Brexit we voted for, despite fine words spouted at the Conference? We’ve all heard Conference speeches before, such as getting the immigration down to the tens of thousands etc. We are entitled to shout at the Government, as your people did at your meeting ‘We don’t believe you’ at least until we see some action. So far, all dither and delay, letting the Remoaners build up a head of steam.

  24. graham1946
    October 11, 2016

    Thinking further about my earlier comment, sure the boss of the Treasury is the Prime Minister, being First Lord of?

    Will she slap down the Treasury like she has Boris, Davies and co?

    Things are getting murkier.

  25. Dr Watson
    October 11, 2016

    Timing. The release of Treasury figures: the start of a court action against the triggering of Article 50; the challenge to government negotiating a Brexit deal without Remainers being allowed to kibosh it, violating the electorate and democracy.

    The most notable thing which distinguished the Remain Campaign was meticulous half–daily grandee and “expert” announcements; also the half-daily headline grabbing campaign by 172 Labour MP ( soon-to-be jobseekers. )

    Sherlock Holmes not required. The half-daily nature of it all, highly suggests the same hand at work. Persons only able to encompass and fulfil a part-time half-hearted attempt at a full time job. To be fair some dissident Labour MPs put a full shift in.

  26. Russ Walker
    October 11, 2016

    All the ‘glass half empty’ ‘remainers’ should move to the EU if they love it so much, before our divorce with them becomes final. They will be welcomed with open arms by John Paul Junker, as after Great Britain has left the EU he will need someone else to try and beat with a stick.

    Our destiny is our own, we have plotted a new course and I for one can not wait for the wind to fill our sails to set us free, and if that means being a little worse off (which it wont) then that will be a price well worth paying.

    Two many times in the recent European history have our countries men and women made the ultimate sacrifice in helping Europe regain its freedom, Now a slow invasion of Europe by Eurocrats is on going and its people give their freedom away with no consideration of what sacrifices were made for them to have their freedom

  27. Antisthenes
    October 11, 2016

    To undermine one another is just one of many unsavoury vices we have. The treasury obviously have some who work there intent on doing just that to Brexiteers. One thing they forgot in this endeavour is that they have a terrible record when it comes to imparting sage advice. So only the most biased and gullible will heed this latest prognostication of theirs. Others of us will be alarmed that this department of state appears to have become corrupt and not fit for purpose which seriously calls into doubt it’s use in guiding our nations economy. Hopefully Phillip Hammond is just as alarmed and will take steps to rectify this gross abuse of power clearing out those who are motivating it.

  28. stred
    October 11, 2016

    Probably the same programme that gave Osborne his bruise to punch, egged on by Remoaner Hammond. Just keep feeding in the guesstimate inputs until the right figures are amplified by the computer. Lots of tries and it comes out in seconds. Toys for city boys.

    The news from France and Germany is not going to be pleasing the National Grid. French nukes are running down and Germany is all over the place, just when the interconnectors are going to be called on if wind goes down this winter. And the Australians are blaming a sudden drop in wind generation for contributing to the great blackout in S. Australia.

  29. fastforward
    October 11, 2016

    “What is the point ” “Why”
    It’s because the scale and resources of the agenda for globalism and the abolition of nation states is huge. ( but not insurmountable or is it un )

  30. Lifelogic
    October 11, 2016

    The CBI, the BBC, the Treasury, academia, most of the state sector, many multinationals, Nicky Morgan, Osborne and many other Conservative MPs think they have only lost the first battle, not the war.

    The BBC in particular is even more biased now than they were during the referendum.

  31. Mark B
    October 11, 2016

    The problem is, it is the EU that is doing the negotiating and not the nation states. If the EU is happy to let countries like Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Italy and others suffer terrible and damaging austerity, then you can bet your last pound that they will conjure up a deal that will make leaving less appealing to any other member. In short, they don’t care if any deal is bad for business !!! It is not as if they have any voters to worry about.

  32. Colin Hart
    October 11, 2016

    The Treasury should stick to setting taxes and stop pretending it is managing the economy or has any idea how to do so. Sorry if this puts me on the libertarian right but Mrs May will have to put up with that if she wishes me to remain and vote Conservative.

  33. majorfrustration
    October 11, 2016

    Is the Treasury part of Government? Are they on the UK side? – Sounds like the reverse of Treasury’s War

  34. Peter Dennis
    October 11, 2016

    I think that the current government need to be really careful here. Whatever your opinion there are a lot of people who are deeply concerned about the path the country is taking. This seriously needs to be addressed in a sensible manner and simply ignoring it and just moving ahead is doing an injustice to so many people. Are the figures in that report correct or not ? I have no idea but still there is a report and it needs to be looked at with an unbiased view.

    Another thing that gets me – while we are messing around with BREXIT we are simply
    wasting time in light of the other serious issues in the world – Syria being one big example (the ongoing war and the under lying cause of global warming).

    1. rose
      October 12, 2016

      Messing around with Brexit means that we will be able to manage our own affairs and engage in international ones more nimbly once we are independent. What makes it messy is the attempted sabotage by powerful people in Parliament, the Media, and the Civil Service.

  35. Denis Cooper
    October 11, 2016

    Fascinating to read the French Finance Minister quoted here:

    saying that it’s OK for the French government to help financial institutions “reflect” on the advantages of Paris, but:

    “We do this without any particular animosity vis-à-vis the City of London”.

    Right, so back in 2011 when this chap Anthony Browne wrote about “Project Spartacus” he must have got the wrong end of the stick:

    “One very senior French financier now based in London once came to me and asked why the British couldn’t see what was happening – it was called Project Spartacus, and it was an attempt, co-ordinated across French government departments, to do down London and make Paris the financial capital of Europe. Because he was French, he spoke about it openly with French officials and ministers, but he said they never speak about it in public because they didn’t want to arouse the British – although President Sarkozy occasionally let slip his ambitions. In the wake of the financial crisis, the French and Germans did in effect take control of regulation of the City away from the British government – there are now 49 different bits of financial services regulation coming from the EU to London, and pretty much all designed to clip the wings of the City. And last night we saw how much it really matters to France.

    Faced with a choice between an EU treaty to save the euro and retaining control of regulation of the City, President Sarkozy decided to retain regulation of the City … ”

    These are supposedly our friends we are talking about here, and I wonder how they would like it if the British government set up a project to wreck the French wine industry.

    October 11, 2016

    Off Topic:

    It is said amongst the bookish community that people only like political books which confirm their own ideas. That flatter their egos, tell them in ever such subtle and complicated ways that they were right and are even more right than they ever publicy admitted.
    The point:… I saved up for weeks and bought a copy of the Weekend Financial Times this last Saturday. I had not so much as glanced at a copy or it or its daily equivalent for some years even though I bought the paper off and on since 14 years of age, trying my best to figure it out. It seemed then esoteric and I was convinced that if I could one day fully decode everything I would fly like the phoenix.

    In the 2008 crash on a FN front page a journalist of some repute candidly admitted and I paraphrase “To be perfectly honest, the intricacies of the financial banking system are so complex that I do not understand really what led to the crash..” My heart soared. My ego was aflame. I fancied I was still young enough to know it all…as much, nearly, of that of the highly educated intelligent writer. But I stopped buying it then.
    Yet this “Weekend FN”..Oh my dear ego. I found I could not just scan read each and every article but simply looking at the odd word or two I found I could “read” whole articles in seconds. I knew what was being said and like a google algorithm predict/know the conclusion. It took me some time to lift up, by now, my extremely bloated heavy head from the arm of my sofa. A day or two celebrating my newly found knowledge and intelligence. ( I’m not a university professor, I think ).
    Then it struck me…the Financial Times has gone down market. Now it’s a nightclass course in flower arranging man’s Daily Mirror.
    I’ll never get rich enough to buy the Weekend FN regularly at this rate.

  37. Ed Mahony
    October 11, 2016

    ‘The UK needs to show a united and confident face for the discussions over trade with the rest of the EU’

    – but first, above all, the leading Brexiteers in the Conservative party need top stop stabbing each other in the back and jockeying for power as we saw happen after the referendum result, as well as Ukip throwing punches at each other as we saw only recently (and it was Ukip and Boris Johnson that won the referendum). (With the back-stabbing and punches reveal an underlying rift with the Breixt leaders overall from one degree to another). Only then can Remainers, the EU and the rest of the world take leaders of Brexit more seriously / with greater respect. (And Brexiteers need to do more to persuade Remainers to their position instead of insulting them with ‘Remoaner’ or ‘traitor’ or whatever and do more to attack an ugly form of nationalism and anti-foreigner that crept in with the referendum (and yes to a strong reform of immigration and yes to healthy nationalism but no to an ugly form of nationalism and an ugly way of talking about foreigners who have come to live and work here).

  38. Denis Cooper
    October 11, 2016

    From the FT on August 11th:

    “Brexit Britain will miss cheap EU funds for infrastructure”

    From the FT yesterday:

    “EIB chief warns UK will struggle without cheap EU loans”

    I rather naively thought that the idea of a “newspaper” was to publish “news”, not to recycle its own propaganda stories from some weeks ago, and this time without the contradiction printed last time; but that may not hold when the editor has been honoured by the French for his publication’s “positive role in the European debate”:

    “FT editor awarded Legion Honneur for pro-EU PR”.

  39. forthurst
    October 11, 2016

    Of course this is nonsense: why is the Treasury even attempting to prognosticate on a time scale of 15 years? In order to ramp up to headline grabbing figures.

    With hostile leaders in France and Germany, a WTO Brexit is on the cards; what would this mean in practice over a fifteen year timescale? Simply that the rate at which our trade with the EU diminished and with the rest of the world increased, as a percentage, accelerated. Was Dr Fox invited in to give his views on our prospects for tariff free trade outside the EU? Clearly not. There is such potential for massive change in the EU over such a long timescale that forecasting over it is pointless other than as Remaniac propaganda. Does the Treasury employ too many Remaniacs, following Remaniac Osborne’s tenure; Philip Hammond needs to get a grip.

    It is important that those paid to serve the government

  40. James Munroe
    October 11, 2016

    Unhappy that the FTSE reflects anything about the UK economy, we were told by those ‘on high’, that the FTSE 250 was a far better indicator.

    Up sticks…goalposts moved…doom and gloom spread…job done.

    FTSE 250 storms along, post Brexit vote.

    No, no, no!

    We meant to say that the er…er…er.
    (Find something, for Heavens Sake)…

    …Yes…got it!…It’s called The FTSE Local index…no-one has ever heard of it, and it’s never been quoted as having any significance before…but it’s a much better indicator.

    Up sticks…goalposts moved…doom and gloom spread…job done.

  41. agricola
    October 11, 2016

    In the light of the quantitive easing you highlighted yesterday. My as yet to be published , response in the short and medium term possibly agree with the Treasury. Whatever the treasury said it could well be difficult in the medium term because a devalued Pound will cost us in imports, particularly fuel. However long term I view the prospects for the UK very positively. We should have access to cheaper food from World sources and if we get our fingers out, unfettered exporting to new markets around the globe.

  42. Mitchel
    October 11, 2016

    Interesting timing that this should appear in the most Cameroonian of organs on the day that Osborne and Heseltine are appearing before the Commons Business Committee.

  43. Chris
    October 11, 2016

    Perhaps you could inform Heseltine, Osborne and Cable that the referendum debate is over. Their appearance before the Commons Business Committee was not impressive in my view. They seem determined not to accept the result and seem determined to undermine the referendum result. Heseltine is in my view a product of a different age, Osborne was, in my view, a complete failure as Chancellor. Why do these figures get so much prominence from the BBC?

  44. Chris S
    October 11, 2016

    We need to hold our nerve and fight back against the forces of the Remain camp who are determined to undermine Brexit.

    Their intention is obviously to scare public opinion into accepting that we need to remain in the single market and hence continue with FOM, budget contributions and the European Court. In other words, membership in all but name.

    This has to be robustly resisted at all costs.

  45. Leslie Singleton
    October 11, 2016

    Just read the Times. One has to feel sorry for the Treasury. They can’t just do a 180 deg handbrake turn on a sixpence and say sorry we were told to come up with an extreme Blue Monday analysis and had no choice–they would look even more incredibly silly than they do already. It’s terrible that these numbers get published (admittedly leaked) as if they had some kind of intrinsic stand-alone merit whereas in fact they are just a bean-counting result of the inherent “fall off a cliff” EU assumptions that they are based on with no credit whatsoever for the benefit that will surely accrue from unfettered open trade with the rest of the world (Not to mention with the EU when that ghastly construct collapses). God only knows where we shall be by March, that’s even assuming that date is met. The pressure by then to refresh the referendum given the passage of time and the EU’s no doubt making life as difficult as possible will have become enormous. In comparison, the present preparatory chinwag and getting ducks in line is as nothing. Again, can we trust Mrs May? I’m not at all sure I do. It was and remains crazy to me that we have ended up with a Remainer in charge. A pox on these modern systems for choosing a Leader. Almost anything else would have been better, and very much so for Labour too of course.

  46. James Matthews
    October 11, 2016

    ” What is the point of putting out silly figures that bear no relationship to the current reality of the UK economy? Why suggest the UK will be in a weak position when we leave the single market”.

    It is hard to avoid the conclusion that this is a deliberate attempt to undermine the UK negotiating position, confidence, and economy, with a view to overturning the Brexit decision in due course. In other words deliberate treachery.

    Not too long ago this would have been genuinely shocking. Sadly, not any more

  47. Ken Moore
    October 11, 2016

    JR ‘United and confident’’s a pit Phillip Hammond hasn’t got the message with his constant doom mongering mood music of ‘turbulence’ choppy waters ahead’ and ‘needing luck’.
    Can’t he and the BOE stop talking Britain and the pound down or do they want a full on sterling crisis just so they can keep face ?

  48. acorn
    October 11, 2016

    Interesting point came up in discussion here in Dubai today! On UK companies being required to state how many non UK citizens they employ, came a reply “isn’t that what the Nazis did in the thirties”.

    There’s a cynical assumption that the UK now has a “President” May and that the UK parliament has been made redundant for Brexit negotiations. This is considered to be a good move by persons more into ruling families than parliaments. “We built two complete airports while the UK is still deciding on one extra runway!

    1. Anonymous
      October 12, 2016

      Bad things happen when the democratic will is repeatedly ignored.

  49. Denis Cooper
    October 11, 2016

    I’ve just looked at the report of a ComRes poll cited by Daniel Hannan, here:

    “A compromise on immigration will profit Brexit Britain”

    “A ComRes survey … found that sovereignty had been the main motivation for 53 per cent of Leave voters, immigration for 34 per cent.”

    That poll is as defective as the Ashcroft poll which he also cites, even though in this case Remain voters were actually asked what they thought about immigration, while in the Ashcroft poll they were not asked.

    “Reported drivers of voting at the referendum vary considerably between those voting Leave and Remain.

    The economy (67%) is cited as the most important for Remain voters.

    By contrast, the ability of Britain to make its own laws is cited by Leave voters as the most important issue when deciding which way to vote (53%), ahead of immigration (34%).”

    Yes, but if I was one of the 53% of Leave voters who chose the “sovereignty” option over the “immigration” option that could not be taken to mean that I wanted Britain to be able to make its own laws on everything except immigration, that would be nonsense; more plausible is that all but a few of that 53% should be added to the 34%.

    Likewise the finding that only 4% of Remain voters said that immigration was the main reason why they voted that way says nothing about the attitudes of the other 96% towards immigration; it would perfectly possible to be strongly opposed to mass immigration but still join the 67% for whom the economy was the most important issue, and other polls do find that large numbers of Remain voters also want immigration to be cut, and only a small minority are content with the present unfettered freedom of movement.

    The simple truth is that you can have membership of the EU Single Market or you can have control over your immigration policy; that is the choice with which we are being arbitrarily presented by politicians on the continent, for political not economic reasons. And nobody should be deceived into thinking that the UK could stay in the EEA and so be part of the EU Single Market while regaining control over immigration, that will not be permitted.

  50. Dan
    October 11, 2016

    Do you retain confidence in Hammond?

    1. Bob
      October 12, 2016


      “Do you retain confidence in Hammond?”

      I never had confidence in him.
      To me, his appointment as Chancellor was a indication that Mrs May had no commitment to a full Brexit. She has stuffed her cabinet with Remainers for a reason.

  51. fedupsoutherner
    October 11, 2016

    Yes, John, the UK does need to be strong against all the crap coming out from the EU at the moment. There is talk of closing the borders to Europe for 24 hours to ‘teach us a lesson’ and the kind of talk that is making our currency look weak and then companies going on about moving out of the Uk. We need to get on with Brexit and prove them all wrong. Nothing is going to get better until we do so what is the point in hanging around while everything goes to pot around us?

  52. David Lister
    October 11, 2016

    Dear John,

    Have you considered that these projections might turn out to be correct? If so what would be the consequence on our economy?

    It’s only in the last week or two that the realities of Brexit are being factored into pound valuations and we are seeing it collapse in value. The trade deficit has doubled as import costs more than offset gains in exports. UK assets, savings, property, land and salaries are all worth 15-20% less than just a few months ago. These outcomes are consistent with Project Fear which you appear to claim are “false narratives”.

    There is a regular heart beat of investment banks lining up to leave London. Some are advanced in their preparation.

    Do you still believe there should be no debate in parliament regards future single market membership?

    1. Chris S
      October 12, 2016

      “Do you still believe there should be no debate in parliament regards future single market membership?”

      Why would the Government hold a debate specifically on leaving the Single Market?

      The referendum was won on three very clearly issues that are entirely incompatible with continuing full membership of the Single Market :

      Budget Contributions
      The supremacy of British Courts

      Access is not the same as membership. We need no better access than currently enjoyed by China and the USA and that should be our fallback position should Brussels and the 27 be foolish enough to end tariff-free trade with us.

      1. David Lister
        October 12, 2016

        Dear Chris,

        Are you aware that China and the US have bilateral trade arrangements with the EU?

        They do not trade under WTO only rules which appears to be your starting assumption. If we were to fall back to a pure WTO position we would have very limited ability to export to the EU.

        We therefore need to establish bilateral trading arrangements of some form to match that of the US or China.

        Boris Johnson, after the referendum claimed we would still have free access to the EU on exit, and that British citizens would continue to have freedom to work, live and residen in the EU. These claims cannot be airbrushed from history. There is no mandate to claim the referendum was a vote on immigration, or access to the Single Market. This is why a debate is essential.

    2. James Matthews
      October 12, 2016

      In the highly unlikely event that the forecast (guess) proves to be accurate, we are still discussing less than half of one per cent of GDP. A small price to pay for regaining the independence for which previous generations made incomparably greater sacrifices.

      Even in purely mercenary terms, raising, GDP is not necessarily valuable, especially when artificially inflated by migration. Millions of migrants increasing GDP by, effectively, raising it enough to provide the infrastructure, services and resources they consume, benefits only the migrants themselves and the egos of the shallowest politicians

  53. ian
    October 11, 2016

    How long before a pounds is worth one dollar by order of the new world order, as they give up on europe as it melts down, they now trying to start a new world currency with the imf clean balance sheet and new sdr currency it controls, the first currency to be cut is the pound, that what the elite and big companies want, one world currency with the BOE and treasury helping the imf in there goal because if this country is strongest growing country in the world at the moment the pounds should be going up not down, world politic has now overtaken the worth of a country currency so a country growth does not mean a high currency any more the rule have been changed as we can now see. what else will they now want to change.

    The way they are going i will give them another hundred year before the planet is dead.

  54. Margaret
    October 11, 2016

    Apparently sterling has devalued due to fear of Brexit. When will they give up. Who and what does this remind one of ,’ they are doing too well , pull them back a bit.’

  55. Caterpillar
    October 11, 2016

    So what is the explanation for the Treasury’s behaviour? Are there former loyalties at play? Does it want to write reality to match a narrative?

    The Government, PM and Chancellor need to get a grip and lead the united and confident approach. The current drag it out, increasing uncertainty hence future back out approach is not democratic. The BoE needs to be ready to increase interest rates as currency weakness will hit inflation as UK capacity also falls inline with unemployment numbers.

    Someone needs to give the EU leaders a clear reminder that when a country (re)gains its independence that it should be supported not debilitated. I would also think that with the growing Russian threat that the EU would wish to state that it will as quickly as possible come to an amicable agreement with the UK, there is no point in weakening an ally.

  56. Ed Mahony
    October 11, 2016

    Europeans and Americans living and not living in the UK are now buying properties in the UK because of the quickly growing euro and dollar against the pound. Is this another unintended consequence of Brexit? What is the government going to do about it considering so many young people can’t afford to get on the housing market. And what happens when lots of working class people, who voted for Brexit, soon find that they can’t afford lots of things because of the drop in sterling?
    I agree the pound sterling has been over-valued but aren’t shocks in the economy, like the sharp drop in pound, bad for the economy instead of a slower, less dramatic drop and not to such a degree as we’ve seen so far.
    Finally, i don’t think traders are really listening so much to what the British and the EU think, but rather more, what companies and governments in Japan, China and the USA think and are saying. And that it’s not so much we’re being directly controlled by the EU, but rather that we’re being more indirectly controlled by the Japanese, the Chinese and Americans (not forgetting how these countries were using the UK as a bridge into the EU, having spent much money, time and energy on this and are now having to think again).

  57. ian
    October 11, 2016

    Mrs may, i will have do as they say or the party break up but what about people and the country mrs may, i will just have sit on the fence as long as i can to keep the party together but what about the people and falling pound mrs may, F the people and the country the party come first as always.

  58. Martin Conboy
    October 11, 2016

    The treasury report containing these terrifying figures was not published by the treasury, it was “leaked”. Needless to say, the underlying assumptions of the report, that enabled it to arrive at its terrifying figures were, conveniently, not leaked. The report cannot be scrutinised in any meaningful way, and the persons who produced it cannot be called upon to justify themselves.
    This has all the hallmarks of the pro-remain civil-service deniable operations department. Their objective is to neuter Brexit and keep us in the E E A.

  59. Jack
    October 11, 2016

    As the budget deficit continues to be way too small, we will be consigned to low growth and stagnation. This will further fuel resentment among both remainers and brexiteers.

    Literally all the government has to do is proactively increase and then maintain a budget deficit of about 8% of GDP bare minimum (running a large deficit will immediately bring in huge tax revenues which will then decrease the deficit, but this actually bad since a smaller deficit will either destabilise the economy or bring GDP growth back down, so maintaining the deficit is of utmost importance).

    Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy is free online and the knowledge contained within will allow the government to negate any negative effect of Brexit, since we have the real resources to grow domestically at a very fast pace.

    Or we can hope a weak pound boosts exports, even though the only reason to trade at all is to import. Exports are actually a net cost, since we don’t get to consume them, but at least they add to GDP and strengthen the currency over the long-run….

  60. Chris S
    October 11, 2016

    Congratulations on an absolutely brilliant performance on Tuesday’s Newsnight with Kirsty Wark.

    All her arguments rightly deserved the ridicule you heaped upon them and after you demolished each in turn, she really had nothing left to come back and challenge you on.
    I guess you won’t be invited back onto Newsnight anytime soon !j

    Many of us said you should have been given a leading role in the referendum campaign and we were right. We can only guess at how much bigger our majority would have been if you had been invited to take part in the big debates.

    1. Denis Cooper
      October 12, 2016


      1. rose
        October 12, 2016

        And agreed here too. Also a very good performance in the Debate today. Not for the first time, if only you were Chancellor.

  61. Edward2
    October 11, 2016

    The level of pro Remain propaganda being absorbed by the Main Stream Media and the Establishment in general is quite amazingly high.
    Every odd report and negative statistic is being given a headline.
    In my lifetime I have never seen such a frenzy.

    1. rose
      October 12, 2016

      “In my lifetime I have never seen such a frenzy.”

      Or such intellectual laziness.

      1. Edward2
        October 12, 2016

        Today on Sky there was a debate where a pro Remain host debated with three pro Remain “experts” and one pro leave person who was heckled every time it was his turn

  62. Christopher Hudson
    October 11, 2016

    Just goes to show how pernicious the EU machinery was and is.

  63. formula57
    October 11, 2016

    Presuming the Treasury’s latest nonsense was not approved by Chancellor Hammond (in which event can we wish him goodbye?), can he be encouraged to get a grip on his department in the same way Mrs. May did with the previously “not fit for purpose” Home Office?

    1. rose
      October 12, 2016

      Did she get a grip on it? If so, why are there 1 or possibly 2 (they don’t know which) million illegal immigrants in the country? Why are people landing on beaches? Why were the grooming scandals in towns and cities all over England not dealt with? Why has FGM not been dealt with as it was in France? Not a single successful prosecution since it was outlawed in 1985. Why has electoral fraud not been dealt with in the communities in which it is rife? She had longer than any Home Secretary to sort these things out.

      1. rose
        October 12, 2016

        And why does the HO give in to Luvvies and Lefties over Calais? The question is, if those 400 “refugee children” with “families in the UK” really are children, and their families really are here, then why haven’t those families been over to Calais to collect their children ? They got themselves here from Asia and Africa so surely they can get across to Calais. Everyone else seems able to go there.

  64. Eddy
    October 11, 2016

    We are all poorer Mr Reedwood in case you didn’t notice. The pound is at such a low level that the last time we exchanged the dollar so low, British workers had to emigrate to Germany to find jobs in the building industry and free movement of people worked nicely to help us out (you see, that is also very good for our economy when things don’t work so well at home). You have been selling a promised land that does not exist, and the reality is that thanks to Brexit, from the same day the result was announced, our currency has been in free fall. As if that was not enough damage, you are pushing hard to inflict more pain to the nation. Do you really believe that we will not pay more for all our imports once leaving the EU because German carmaker and French farmers will fear the loss of our market? We will pay whatever they will impose on us and I can’t see us substituting our cars for Ford or Wauxhall or eat Cheddar and cider instead.
    You are seriously misinformed, dangerous, and I wonder if there is a point in the immediate future when you will consider retiring from public affairs.

    Reply No, of course not. I have no plans to retire as I have an important job to do as MP for Wokingham.

    1. Duyfken
      October 12, 2016

      I hope the Eddy soon disappears down the plughole – we could do without such fatuous diatribes as he/she has contributed.

    2. rose
      October 12, 2016

      And not just as MP for Wokingham, but an extremely important national figure. Unique in fact.

  65. darren
    October 12, 2016

    yes sir a deliberate act of sabotage,i believe mr davis is fuming,it could have a serious effect on the talks with the eu,,,,weakens our hand,,it was a serious undermining exercise

    1. stred
      October 12, 2016

      There is an article in the Guardian in which it is reported that if it came to a choice between sacking Hammond for not stamping out this treachery or the 3 Brexiteers for complaining about it, then the Chancellor would stay. This information is given by a source within the Treasury. During the campaign, the heads of the civil service abandoned their code of impartiality, emailed staff telling them which way to vote and conspired to spend money on propaganda before limits started.

      If Mrs May means what she says, she needs to identify the authors of the leaked report and the briefing to the Guardian and then clear these anti-democratic agents outof government. The same needs to be done in other departments.

  66. Gareth Jones
    October 12, 2016

    This is all very well, but your argument rests on the assumption that an irrational collection of countries will act rationally in negotiating with us.

    The political picture will muddy the waters. It may not be in the interests of French exporters to the UK to say “non” to a deal with the UK, but if M. Hollander perceives political benefit in doing so then he will. Especially in an election year with Mlle Le Pen breathing down his neck. And don’t forget, unity amongst the 27 will be required for a deal. The sensible Northern Europeans will not sway a deal on their own. Politics, not common sense, will come into play here.

    1. rose
      October 12, 2016

      If they are irrational then they will find it very difficult to agree amongst themselves to impose tariffs on us and at what level when we offer them tariff free trade on exit. Until they can all agree, things will stay as they are.

  67. stred
    October 12, 2016

    Sorry. The senior Treasury official was briefing that the Brexiteer minister would be sacked in the Telegraph.

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