UK to grow faster than Eurozone

The IMF published their latest forecasts for growth yesterday as I opened the first debate in Westminster Hall this decade, choosing the topic of how to promote faster growth. The IMF cut some of their forecasts. They also drew attention to how the monetary easing (other than in the UK) has led them to expect 0.5% extra growth world wide within their 3.3% forecast for 2020.

The IMF expects the UK to grow at 1.4% in 2020 compared to 1.3% for France, 1.1% for Germany and 0.5% for Italy and 1.3% for the Euro area as a whole. These are poor Euro area figures and are despite the Euro area enjoying a substantial monetary easing from the ECB. The UK could grow faster than that if the government and Bank of England took the actions I have been proposing.

The IMF shares many of the assumptions of the Davos internationalists, urging states to drive the green revolution faster. The IMF usually fails to forecast turning points, missing recessions until they are happening, and exaggerating negative consequences for any country not following the global agenda.

It is probably right to be so pessimistic about Italy where the Euro rules impede change and about Germany where the green policies are damaging the car industry. The UK should continue to outperform the Eurozone this year if pro growth policies are followed through.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Lifelogic
    Posted January 22, 2020 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    Indeed we could grow far, far more quickly than this if we actually get a government with some pro-growth vision (lower taxes, far smaller government, less government waste, individual freedom and choice, a bonfire or red tape and cheap on demand energy). But this government seems to be just dithering.

    Why do we have to wait until mid March for a budget? Tax cuts and simplification is needed now. Why has Javid not even said much and what he has said have been largely in the wrong direction. Just saying the right things now would encourage investment. Why has HS2 not been ditched? Why is the HS2 report not even published yet?

    Release all the people in government (and many in the private sector in compliance) doing nothing of any value (or often of negative value). Let them get real and productive jobs instead. They would surely be far happier even if they did have to work for a change.

    Why too is Boris not taking the sensible Trump Davos line on the climate soothsayers & the mad prophets of doom? All at this festival of private jets, helicopters, parties, virtue signalling & gross hypocrisy. The doomsayers do not even propose any solution that actually works, even if you do accept their mad “Carbon Pollution” religion. Renewables certainly clearly make no significant difference.

    I happened to catch the video of Matt Ridley’s excellent speech in the Net Zero Lord’s debate which is well worth watching. Why on earth are so many in Westminster unable to see the plain sense he is talking? I assume due to the irrational religious beliefs, the BBC indoctrination and lack of any real understanding of science from most people in Parliament or at the BBC. Or is it just blatant corruption from the crony renewable industry lobby and their many paid “consultants” and vested interests in government?

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted January 22, 2020 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Still no comment from Ministers on the 40% and nearly 80% one size fits all personal overdraft rate lunacy from many of the major UK rip off banks – forced on to them (they claim) by the dopes at FCA. Something that only their UK customers have to suffer & not from their overseas branches. This is hardly like to do much for growth, confidence or investment.

    • jerry
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      @LL; Easy solution if you do not like the new overdraft rates, not use overdrafts, there are other ways you can raise money for your commercial or long-term domestic needs and activities, if you need an overdraft for your day-to-day domestic needs then you really should be starting to look at your lifestyle choices – you really do not need to keep up with the wealthy Mr and Mrs Jones next door…

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      “Neither a lender nor a borrower be, my son”

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 22, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        Well, had I followed those rules I would be very much poorer now than I am. But I will clearly not be borrowing at these absurd rates. It is what you do with the money that matters.

      • a-tracy
        Posted January 22, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

        The character Polonius counsels his son Laertes before he embarks on his visit to Paris. He says, “Neither a borrower nor a lender be; / For loan oft loses both itself and friend.”

        He is not talking of borrowing from a friend but rather a regulated institution that we should have some protection from being ripped off.

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      The Ombudsman is clearly on the banks’ side too.

      When they though I was going into unauthorised overdraft the bank levied fines against me of £3000.

      When it turned out that the bank’s incompetence was the cause I was awarded £100 by the Ombudsman. A whole summer ruined contesting a £10,000 fraud which the bank had allowed to happen.

  3. Andy
    Posted January 22, 2020 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    It is amusing how you have all spent nearly 4 years slagging off the IMF and other similar bodies, and now you are all saying ‘Ah yes, but that IMF….’

    Even if the forecast turns out to be correct – and it is only a forecast – it is not a sign that all is well in Brexit Britain.

    Our economy is already significantly smaller because of your Brexit than it would have been without it, so 1.4% is not a win. But I realise you all have to cheer what little you have.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      Hey Andy … where’s the civil unrest you were promising due to Brexit ? You cited an important Bristol Council analysis on this topic ? Surely you didn’t get a forecast wrong ?

    • jerry
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      @Andy; I think the criticisms you cite were aimed at the management, and their policies, not the IMF as an institution, a slight but important difference!

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      Perhaps you should take a lead from the IMF then. Why do you have such a problem with what the majority obviously want here?

      • Andy
        Posted January 22, 2020 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        The majority doesn’t want Johnson’s Brexit. 57% didn’t vote for him at the election last month. And even many of you who did don’t like his deal.

        You were too scared to put reality Brexit to a referendum because you demonstrably would have lost.

        This just makes it easier for us to undo Brexit in future. Which sooner or later we will.

        • NickC
          Posted January 22, 2020 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

          Andy, “Reality Brexit” was put to a referendum! And we won.

        • jerry
          Posted January 22, 2020 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

          @Andy; Stop peddling nonsense for pity sake, even arch Europhiles have accepted that the majority (52%) voted to Leave in the 2016 referendum and a majority voted for the Tory ‘Brexit’ manifesto last month.

          If you want to have a rant about the validity of a Govt under the FPTP voting system fine, but two can play at that game, in the Labour landslide of 1997 Blair only got 45% of the vote, 45% in 2001 and 35% in 2005, according to your logic Blair had no mandate to ask Parliament to approve the Lisbon treaty!…

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted January 23, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

          It’s better than that, Andy.

          Fifty-seven percent of those who VOTED did not vote for him.

          It was about fourteen million of the country’s sixty-seven million people who did.

          That’s just over one-in-five of the people.

          That a country can have an elected dictatorship on this basis bears serious reflection.

          • jerry
            Posted January 23, 2020 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

            @MiC; The fact that 57% of the vote was split between others is irrelevant in our FPTP electoral system.

            But have it your way, retrospectively, Tony Blair was not a legitimating PM and should not have signed us up to the Lisbon Treaty, Ted Heath was not a legitimate PM, he shroud not have taken the UK into the EU…

            Stop trying to cherry-pick!

          • Edward2
            Posted January 23, 2020 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

            Even less voted for old Mr Corbyn.
            Which is why he failed.

          • Fred H
            Posted January 23, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

            Marty – – so you want all 67m to vote? How do you propose to get the under 16s to cast their vote? Will babes be allowed to dribble on the form? Will younger primary kids be shown how to read the candidates and mark a cross? Will you indicate on the form the candidates who want them to walk everywhere? – or those who claim they will be entitled to uni for free? – possibly others who dress the funniest? – and what about those who say unemployment pay should be raised?

    • Edward2
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      Where is your evidence for saying “our economy is significantly smaller”

    • Fred H
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      so now you turn to dissing the IMF when it doesn’t suit your misery!
      I forecast you will continue daily on this gloomy theme until you are helped by professionals.

    • Richard1
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      This line will never work. Completely contrary to continuity remain forecasts, parroted by you, the U.K. economy did not suffer a collapse due to the Brexit vote. In fact it’s performed pretty much in line with most of Europe. Better than much of it. Probably some investment has been delayed, in which case there is every chance of catch up.

      If the U.K. clearly underperforms the eurozone over the coming years it will (most likely) show Brexit to have been an error. If the U.K. outperforms it will be judged a success.

      You belong to that small minority of remain voters who hope for failure. Most of us hope for success and prosperity for our Country. With Boris and the Tories having a good majority and most likely a 10 year run there’s a good chance of getting it. Rejoice.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      The main thing suppressing the economy was the May incompetence and dishonesty and the very real threat of a Corbyn trip to Venezuela. This when she threw the election and then took the party down to 9% support and fifth place.

      Let us hope Boris does not turn out to be year another tax to death, big government, tax borrow and waste fake Conservative. With sensible small government, pro business policies we will get excellent growth for sure.

    • L Jones
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink


      ”.. because of your Brexit…”. Haven’t you noticed? Brexit hasn’t happened yet.

      It’s a pity you don’t do more research of your own instead of relying on your chums in Facebook, or similar. If you read facts4eu (but you won’t because you might learn something to make you uncomfortable) you’ll see that the thinking is ”in spite of what the IMF has said previously….” as our host makes clear.

      Why on earth is it so difficult for ”you lot” to believe in your country?

      • Andy
        Posted January 22, 2020 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        Facts 4 Eu. Brilliant. A website remarkable devoid of facts. I am still waiting for Facts4EU to list the more than 200 countries and states they claim sell to the EU without the single market and customs union. They won’t post this, of course, because it will be embarrassing for them.

        • NickC
          Posted January 22, 2020 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

          Andy, Devoid of facts? Indeed you are. Your comments are notorious for being long on pub-bore opinion but short on verifiable facts . . . well, I was going to say none, but I may have missed an odd one. But not this time.

          Actually facts4eu stated: “[The EU’s] list includes everyone from little islands to the major economies such as China and the USA. Technically some of the small islands are not countries, but they’re on the EU’s official list so we’ve included them.”

          It is your EU which lists them! Doh! The EU includes the Falkland Islands and Hong Kong, for example.

          • bill brown
            Posted January 23, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink


            I am sure you have just written about a lot of your own contributions

      • steve
        Posted January 22, 2020 at 7:19 pm | Permalink


        “Why on earth is it so difficult for ”you lot” [Andy et al] to believe in your country?”

        Well to be fair look at who leads the country – most of them don’t believe in it either.

    • Newmania
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      Andy I have posted some figures and authoritative estimates on this – I daresay that as usual it will be withheld or not published at all.
      That how they roll

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Never happy.

      Got to cut back to save the planet ?


      Got to have growth so we can consume more.

      • Andy
        Posted January 22, 2020 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

        Or sustainable growth.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink


      I hear what you say, but pray tell me why all of a sudden have the IMF seemed to have Altered their Forecasts, what has changed ?

      I do not have a clue what systems or other criteria they use get their forecasts, and even if if they are right or wrong, or fit for purpose, but given they were so, so firm in their opinion that leaving the EU would be so bad for the UK, what have we done, or what has the EU done, to change things around.

      Perhaps its as simple as us having self belief with al last a Prime Minister in Charge who is prepared to stand firm in his beliefs with a positive attitude.

      I am afraid all of these forecasts seem to stink of some sort of attempt at political manipulation to suit whoever is completing them !

    • NickC
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      Andy, The UK economy is already significantly larger because of our Brexit than it would have been without it. That’s because the EZ is in trouble, and would have dragged us down.

    • Helen Smith
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

      I will say a little prayer for you tonight Andy, it is hard I know, all these years you have been calling Brexit voters stupid and saying Brexit will be the death of us, and now this!

    • libertarian
      Posted January 23, 2020 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      Dear Andy & Newmania

      Both of you shrieked for ages that the entire city would be relocating to EU

      Reuters yesterday

      ” More than 1,000 EU financial services companies set to open offices in UK following Brexit”

      You do not have a clue what you are talking about, get off here and find yourself a job

  4. Ian Wragg
    Posted January 22, 2020 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    They said if we follow EU rules. We want to leave, not become a colony.

    • Andy
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      Johnson claims a ‘stonking majority’ for his capitulation deal – which 57% of voters just rejected.

      Get over it old chap. It is the only Brexit you are getting. We told you it would be rubbish – we were right. And, remember, you voted for it.

      • NickC
        Posted January 22, 2020 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

        Andy, If one of the Remain parties had won such a stonking majority you would have claimed it as evidence for Remain – whilst studiously ignoring the actual single issue Referendum result. As usual.

        You lost. Again. Get over it.

        • steve
          Posted January 22, 2020 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

          Nick C

          But actually Andy does make valid point. The next twelve months are where the fun begins, and we shall see what this government is made of.

          Don’t celebrate yet – the conservatives have to do what we expect of them in return for our votes. If they fail, they’re toast.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      Oh, the irony. Like Gibraltar, you mean?

      • NickC
        Posted January 22, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        Martin, No irony, it’s based on the UN’s human right of self determination.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted January 22, 2020 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

          OK, well, Scotland, then?

          • Edward2
            Posted January 23, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

            Still no majority for another “once in a generation” referendum in Scotland according to polls.

          • Fred H
            Posted January 23, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

            Yes fine – what was the last poll vote result on Independence?

          • NickC
            Posted January 23, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

            Martin, Indeed so. Scotland had their once in a generation referendum.

          • libertarian
            Posted January 23, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

            or Catalonia?

    • glen cullen
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Can’t believe that the UK government are actual going to sign the WA and commit us to 12mths of wasteful negotiations

      • Peter Wood
        Posted January 22, 2020 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        I have much sympathy with this point of view; 3 years to prepare the nation to ‘just leave’, but the lies of the last government meant all that was done was a deception on the populus. How about the Boris Bunter Government, more of the same..?

  5. steve
    Posted January 22, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Good morning JR

    I wonder if there is correlation between us leaving the EU and the not so favourable forecast for the bloc. It would be nice to think there was.

    Re your last paragraph;

    As far as the so-called green revolution and car industries are concerned, I smell a rat, a great big lobbying rat.

    Electric cars are cheap as chips to make (and therefore an inferior product) so it is obvious why manufacturers are trying to force us to buy them.

    European manufacturers have a history of flobbing off consumers with cheap to make – expensive to buy plastic muck that has lifespan determined by them, not us.

    Car manufacturers are the culprits behind this green revolution, they figure on making an absolute killing with this grand scam.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      They are not all that cheap to make (as yet) this as the battery (the equivalent of the cheap plastic fuel tank on a conventional car) is rather expensive to manufacture and does not last very well either. Typically perhaps £5,000 even for a small one with a fairly low range. The real problem with selling them is that they are too expensive given their limitations. The range limits and long “refilling” times make them rather inferior to many second hand cars that might cost £1000 or less – so why buy a new one that costs £30K+ even if you do save a little on the fuel/parking/congestion charges (for a while). Unless you like expensive virtue signalling it is to wait a bit longer for most people.

      They often tend to be light in weight (this to extend the range) and so very often are small and more dangerous in crashes. Not so good if you ever tow anything either.

      I see that Prince Charles is arriving at Davos in an electric car (Though I assume this is just from the airport or helicopter pad). Last time I looked Charles spends about £1 million a year just on his personal transport PA. About what an average worker earns in a lifetime after tax. Hopefully he will not be lecturing us of our Carbon footprint. Anyways he assured us we only had 100 months to save the world (in March 2009) so too late now it seems.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      Of course this irrational and damaging course cannot help.

      Its adverse effects, to some extent will be global, not just European.

      This country’s history of car manufacture isn’t that glorious either, if you remember the rust-buckets of the 1960s and 1970s, is it?

      Yes, you can gloat over the fact that the smoke from burning down your own garden shed has spoiled all the neighbours’ washing if you like though.

      • steve
        Posted January 22, 2020 at 7:09 pm | Permalink


        Did reply to yours, mostly in agreement and very politely. Unfortunately our host is applying ridiculous moderation criteria again so you won’t see it.

        (I think he’s got a thing about Jaguar and Rover people, and doesn’t like people who know how to rustproof cars.)

      • NickC
        Posted January 22, 2020 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Of course leaving the EU is rational. Most people in most countries want independence for their own nation. It is the unfortunate lot of European peoples to have their leaders sequentially succumb to odious ideologies, whether murderous or merely corrupt and seedy like the EU.

    • Edward2
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      The automotive industry is already very unhappy with the way politicians have got them to spend billions moving from mainly petrol to mainly diesel engined vehicles to save the planet.
      And now to add even more disruption and costs on the industry these politicians want the industry to scrap all that work and move to electric vehicles.
      Engine and gearbox plants are being closed at costs of billions.
      Existing production plants and supply companies are looking at big job losses.
      For example JLR have just written off over one billion of investment in their Wolverhampton state of the art engine facility.

      I can tell you Steve the automotive industry are not happy and and your conspiracy theory that somehow the industry like the forced move to electric powered vehicles is nonsense.

      • steve
        Posted January 22, 2020 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

        Edward 2

        Thank you for your reply. However I’m not so trusting of big business and while I respect your opinions, I continue to hold mine.

        Re diesel; yes it was rather a scam wasn’t it. You will also find a similar stunt was pulled in Portugal some years back. I know because I was there.

        In any event I think we’re being done like kippers with all this electric car stuff, I don’t buy into it.

        Unless it has a range of several hundred miles and can be recharged in the time it takes to fill up a petrol tank, it’s no use to me.

        Gas turbine – electric running on hydrogen or bio would be interesting though. If they came up with something like that I might be interested.


        • bill brown
          Posted January 23, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

          Edward 2

          Finally a very useful and informed contribution. Thank you

          • Edward2
            Posted January 23, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

            bill you are so welcome.
            Nice to be guided and improved by your superior intellect.

      • NickC
        Posted January 22, 2020 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

        Edward2, Well said.

      • libertarian
        Posted January 23, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink


        Exactly, good post

    • turboterrier
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink



  6. Prigger
    Posted January 22, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Hungary has surprised with 5% growth last year. Cold water-pourers say it will drop to only, 3.5%. It’s called Orbanomics. A Command Economy in many respects. It appears to be working well just now though the equivalent of Corbynistas are shouting something like “Yes but they are not real jobs”So they probably are.
    I have a feeling the Virus development in Wuhan China will probably not affect her neighbour India very much at all, nor Europe save for Chinese residents holidaying back home in China. Little effect economically even in the short term,in my opinion.
    I get the picture the virus may be short lived anyway. China has let the world know about it much earlier than past virus events for some reason to put them in the picture.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      Hungary, like so many other countries in the EU, is a net recipient of funds. This distorts their economy. They can spend without having to raise taxes. Viktor Orban, for all his fine words will not take Hungary out of the EU and did not want the Milch Cow (UK) to Leave. He impresses me NOT !

      • Mitchel
        Posted January 23, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        Neither Russia nor China want him too- he is their instrument.I’m afraid Brexiteers got overexcited about Orban and the V4(haven’t heard much about them recently!) generally.

    • Mitchel
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Hungary is the subject of much Chinese and Russian investment.It is being developed as an Eurasian node-and financial centre- within the EU.The Bank of China opened an office there a couple of years back,the Russian-controlled International Investment Bank moved it’s HQ from Moscow to Budapest last year(Hungary announced last week that it has upped it’s shareholding-now second only to Russia),it will be joining the Eurasian Development Bank later this year and their Foreign Minister was in Beijing just before Christmas negotiating the opening of an office for another major Chinese bank(can’t remember which one)which will be the first outside China.

      If you are familiar with Hungarian history,you will know that Hungary is,by origins , an Asiatic country within geographic Europe.

    • GeorgeP
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      The fact that China has alerted the world earlier than in the past may indicate that the situation is much more serious than we think.

  7. agricola
    Posted January 22, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    I still have a large caveat about climate change. I do not doubt it is happening, but my caveat concerns it’s causes. Sun activity has been responsible for bigger changes in the past so I do not leap on the CO2 bandwagon.

    My attitude is clean up our act at home for an healthier lifestyle. Stop destroying our flora and fauna, collect and recycle the rubbish we create. Substitute much plastic we use with biodegradable and recyclable materials. Captue the noxious properties of the fuel we use which could allow us to continue with the use of fossil fuels. Think about the use of hydrogen as a fuel for vehicles, as we have the raw material in profusion. Making the country all electric leaves us strategically very vulnerable. All of the above could make us World leaders in the industries involved and give us products to export and sell.

    IMF forecasts might give us a rosy glow but please set them against their past performance. The end result is dependant on where you are growing from. 10% from zero could still leave you in the dark ages. In terms of UK infrastructure and quality of life we are still playing catchup. However our inventive skill and regard for our fellow man puts us near the top of the list. They used to say that the British Tommy had complaining and pesemism down to a fine art but reading some of the contributions here I think the disease has spread. Start thinking the glass to be half full and adopt a can do approach to all our problems. Like it or not we are at the start of a new dawn.

  8. Caterpillar
    Posted January 22, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Does anyone have the figures GDP per capita and GDP per working age person. I seem to recall that Italy’s population is expected to shrink (-0.1 to – 0.2% expected) and more people are retiring, whereas the UK’s pop’n growth is expected to be (0.5% to 0.75%) with population staying young due to immigration and new immigrant children.

    Any conclusions without above information and net capital formation is probably worthless.

  9. villaking
    Posted January 22, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    Hard not to chuckle at the headline of this blog. “UK to grow faster than Eurozone” to which you forgot to add “according to a body whose forecasts I distrust and are usually wrong in my opinion”.
    In the last 10 years of Tory led government, there have been as many periods where UK growth was below the Eurozone as there were above. The reasons for different growth rates are many and varied and can not all be attributed to the BoE policy shortcomings or the EU. You know this, but continually slant the message on here to make it seem as if the EU and BoE are always to blame.
    By the way, am I wrong in thinking the BoE’s remit is quite limited and is basically to maintain confidence in the currency and target an inflation rate of 2% (mostly achieved in the last 12 months)? How can you hold the BoE responsible for GDP growth rates?

    Reply I point out the IMF does make mistakes, but some of you trust the IMF more than my forecasts so you need to respond to this one!

    • NickC
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

      Villaking, If you Remains could tell the future as easily as you claim you’d all be billionaires. It was continuity Remain which previously idolised the forecasts by “experts” like the IMF. You have now been hoist by your own petard. I subscribe to the notion that every forecast is a guess.

  10. Mark B
    Posted January 22, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    The IMF, like so many others with financial precognition skills, has an abysmal record. What they do not take into account is the ‘Human Factor’. The ability of us humans to meddle and to mess things up. Our kind host alludes to this and we have some eleven months for this to happen.

    Watch this space 😉

  11. Kevin
    Posted January 22, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    I have noticed that a common response on Twitter to Conservative MPs writing about growth is to ask how their preferred options differ from what the UK could have done while remaining a Member State of the EU. It is often a good question. Yesterday, I was pleased to see you address “taking back control” of specific aspects of the EU’s legal regime, such as the Single Market rules on state aid and public procurement. With regards to the latter, I have noticed writers long claim a discrepancy between theory and practice in the application of these rules, from Booker and North’s Castle of Lies, published in 1996, to Ross Clark, twenty years later, alleging in the “Daily Mail” not only that these rules are inconsistently applied across the EU, but that they could also prevent the Government from helping a troubled British steelmaker – by means of infrastructure projects – were a cheaper offer to be tendered from another Member State. My concern is that the “level playing field” clause of the Political Declaration (Clause 77) may effectively keep us subject to the Single Market rules on public procurement, much as BBC has indicated may be the case as regards state aid.

  12. Newmania
    Posted January 22, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    The UK has generally grown faster than the Eurozone whilst within the EU and slower outside the EU.Between 1958, and 1973, GDP per head rose 95 per cent in France, West Germany and Italy compared with only 50 per cent in Britain. After 73 the UK has grown faster than Italy, Germany and France.
    The question is not then, whether or not the UK outperforms EU Nations but how much growth it has lost as compared to if it had not suffered a collapse of its political institutions in 2016.
    Estimates are calculated by constructing a basket of weighted correlating economies tracking outcomes and comparing the results with the UK`s post 2016 performance .There is broad agreement between a number of studies and methodologies .Exit has cost the British economy £66bn in just under three years ( £1,000 per person). About 3 per cent has been wiped off GDP, (according to Standard & Poor’s and others )
    Britain’s economy contracted o.2% (first time in seven years ) during the second quarter of 2019 .

    • Richard1
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      The biggest thing holding the uk back the last 3 years has been the threat of Corbyn and socialism. That is now lifted and we will all benefit as a result.

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      I never got it when Gordon Brown kept banging on about “grrrowth.”

      Growth means nothing to the ordinary person.

      You should have just fixed the potholes.

    • NickC
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

      Newmania, Forecasting what might have been is as much a guess as predicting the future. There is no proven inverse correlation between UK and “EZ” growth rates. The growth rates of Italy, Germany and France after 1973 may have been arrested due to factors quite different to the UK’s accession, rather than the UK’s increasing.

      • Newmania
        Posted January 23, 2020 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

        Well then, having dispensed with both recorded fact and authoritative prediction we might just as well do the stupidest thing anyone can come up with then. Oh dear we did

        • libertarian
          Posted January 23, 2020 at 4:10 pm | Permalink


          You STILL haven’t explained why the city of London is still here , you unequivocally told us they are all going to move to the EU What happened?

          Reuters yesterday

          ” More than 1,000 EU financial service firms are opening new offices in the UK following Brexit”

          The FT , “UK set to outgrow the EU over the next 5 years”

          Come on, stop posting your drivel and explain why all your predictions have be catastrophically WRONG

        • Edward2
          Posted January 23, 2020 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

          The studies you refer to are all based on Treasury computer models.
          They are still just predictions into the future.
          And their past accuracy has been generally pessimistic.

          • Newmania
            Posted January 23, 2020 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

            eerm no they are not … try again ?

  13. Everhopeful
    Posted January 22, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Yes. And why would any country want to continue being tied to trade agreements with a stultified, economically weakened bloc when the whole wide world is out there?
    An EU without money can not buy our goods…we have probably forfeited billions over the years in lost international trade.

  14. acorn
    Posted January 22, 2020 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    The UK is employing nearly as many staff to deal with Brexit as are employed by the entire European Commission, it has been revealed. Philip Rycroft – former Department for Exiting the EU (DExEU) permanent secretary (i.e. the highest ranking official) – said that more than 25,000 civil servants are already working on Brexit. Rycroft also said this number is set to rise after 31st January, when we officially leave the EU.

    The massive irony in all this, Jennifer Rankin of the Guardian noted that the entire European Commission – the executive, law-making branch of the EU – only employs 32,000 people. (Sam Bright at Scram:)

    • Edward2
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      Yet more partial statistics from you acorn.
      The EU employs 55,000 staff.
      But nice to see you finally accepting that it is the unelected Commissioners who make the laws.
      “Working on Brexit” is misleading description.

      • acorn
        Posted January 23, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

        Wrong as usual Ed. The comparison is between the UK civil service and the EU civil service,not the staff they both employ.

        Sadly, my real world accepted data replies to your previous comments don’t get past moderation any longer. Brexiteers are running scared now the monster they have created takes form.

        • libertarian
          Posted January 23, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink


          “the monster they have created takes form.”

          Ha ha meanwhile back here on planet reality where employment is going through the roof, wages are rising new industries are gaining massive investment while the moribund EU quietly ( if you watch the BBC news) implodes under the failing German car industry , the weekly riots in France, Belgium and Sweden

          Wake up acorn and look around you

          • bill brown
            Posted January 23, 2020 at 5:42 pm | Permalink


            Interesting but think of how well it is going in eastern and central Europe, Portugal , Denmark , Netherlands, Finland and so on,I do not see the picture you are describing

        • Edward2
          Posted January 23, 2020 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

          Not scared at all acorn
          Are you really refusing to accept that the EU really employs 55,000 and that your claim “working on brexit” is a vague claim.

      • margaret howard
        Posted January 23, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink


        Ah yes, the unelected European Commission!

        As opposed our own dear House of Lords, with members mostly appointed by their political cronies for services rendered incl titles given hundreds of years ago for similar services. Wearing clothes more suited to a Gilbert and Sulllivan comic opera.

        All of that led by an unelected civil service and the whole lot topped by an unelected head of state + family costing millions. Imagine Ursula von der Leyen appointing her children as her successors!!!!!


        • Edward2
          Posted January 23, 2020 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

          The House of Lords isn’t a powerful legislating chamber like the EU Commission.
          Neither are the Civil Service.
          Neither is the Royal Family.

          Perhaps a study of the British constitution might improve the accuracy of your endless anti UK posts Margaret.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted January 23, 2020 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

            You could have written it, Edward2.

            It’s just one sentence.

            Do you know what it says?

          • margaret howard
            Posted January 23, 2020 at 11:02 pm | Permalink


            And the EU is a trading bloc, not a country.

            And as you Brexiteers proved, you can leave it.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 24, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

            It is an very odd trading bloc.
            A law making body.
            A flag.
            An anthem.
            Soon it will have its own armed forces.
            It calls people who live in member states, EU citizens.
            If only it had remained as the Common Market.
            Instead it has been hijacked by the left.
            Soon it will be the United States of Europe.

    • Villaking
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      Acorn, laws are only made by the elected legislature, the European parliament

      • acorn
        Posted January 23, 2020 at 4:19 pm | Permalink


    • NickC
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

      Acorn, The EU gets its subject states to do most of its work. Didn’t you know?

      • bill brown
        Posted January 23, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink


        they are member states not subject states, have you read the Rome-treaty

    • libertarian
      Posted January 23, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink


      Plus all the civil servants working in each member state implementing the directives

      Oh dear , you really are deluded , but then you are the person that tried to tell us that South Koreans are French and that Faroe Islanders are Swiss

  15. NickC
    Posted January 22, 2020 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Human beings think we know the present, pretend we know the past, but we do not know the future. It’s the human condition. No matter how expert you are, pronouncements about the future are all guesses. Predictions from the IMF may be of passing interest, but they cannot be relied upon.

    That being understood, some guesses are more likely than others, and some are just more likely. For example, my guess in 2013 that the EU would be vindictive and hostile to the UK leaving the EU was much more accurate than both Leave and Remain politicians who thought (think?) the EU is our friend.

    Posted January 22, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    When will we get a Conservative government that rejects the rise of liberal left authoritarianism and woke fascism?

    We don’t understand why your party refuses to confront the destruction of the UK’s moral foundations and have simply capitulated to the Marxist progressives that seem determined to corrupt our nation’s very soul from within

    MPs must lie awake at night with tortured souls. Some many politically inconvenient real world events to sweep under the carpet. That must corrode any decent human being’s soul and tarnish their conscience

    Liberalising our economy to smash the overbearing leftist State is only half the battle. Pushing back against the all-consuming intervention of left wing government officials must happen at some point

    Without Tory reform Labour’s client State will continue to feed off us all, take our freedoms, demonise the majority with the racist slur (political tactic to impose silence) and encourage authoritarian control using various mechanisms

    Laurence Fox is doing the Tory’s job for them, as indeed did Farage

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

      I’ll second that, with bells on! Moral cowadice and appeasement, in its worst definition, is what is perpetrated day in day out even by those who try to portray themselves as protectors of moral and political values.

  17. Blinkered
    Posted January 22, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    All simplistic stuff given that the UK is a country and the Eurozone is a monetary area made up of nineteen different countries- Apples and Oranges – so we are about to enter the most serious negotiations ever that will either greatly improve our chances for growth or else badly dash them- no argument about that. So considering negotiations with the EU? – but an EU who insists on a level playing field in everything it does and then this with parallel talks with Trumps America – nobody knows what the outcome is going to be by Dec 2020

    • Mark B
      Posted January 23, 2020 at 5:59 am | Permalink

      When the EU talk about ‘Level Playing Field’, what they mean is, we, the EU, set the rules for you, the UK, to follow. That way they can game things to their advantage.

  18. DavidJ
    Posted January 22, 2020 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    The IMF: just another faction of the globalist enemy that supports the abused child being used to promote the Global Warming Scam. Time to stand up against this discredited “science”.

  19. Prigger
    Posted January 22, 2020 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    The government should put more energy , more sugar into the economy of us all.
    You are killing us with tax, even sugar tax even ( no pun on tax-haven intended, it just popped up )

  20. dixie
    Posted January 22, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Why do we need growth?

    How is it a benefit if the outcome is a drastic increase in immigration impacting our infrastructure and quality of life, a lower quality of employment or career.

    Why are key measures not chosen at a more human scale?

  21. glen cullen
    Posted January 22, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Wouldn’t it be great if we could actually sign off free trade deals from the 31st Jan….now that would boost growth

  22. Leaver
    Posted January 22, 2020 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    I believe government spending is included in GDP figures. It would be interesting to know how much of the extra anticipated GDP growth is due to extra government spending rather than the private sector.

  23. Rhoddas
    Posted January 22, 2020 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Why is Prince Charles calling for green TAXES as he meets Greta Thunberg in Davos and pitches radical new world economy to tackle climate change.

    He doesn’t pay any tax,etc ed!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 22, 2020 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps he is just trying to go to war with his subjects. Like a Bishop lecturing us on morality from his favourite brothel! I am, of course, a great supporter of the monarchy but they really must keep out of politics. Especially the deluded and wrong headed ones ones like Prince Charles.

      Gross hypocrisy is not really that attractive.

  24. mancunius
    Posted January 22, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, Given the EU’s blustering attempts to coerce the UK into mercantile subservience, I hope you will continue to urge the government not to give an inch, and if necessary to walk away entirely and go WTO. Boris has been wrong in giving such a massive hostage to fortune in claiming a FTA is easy to obtain from Brussels – the Project EU dictatorship is quite capable of ruining its own producers and exporters, and its member countries’ politicians are now too much in its thrall to listen to sense. ‘Qu’ils mangent de la galette!’

  25. Fred H
    Posted January 22, 2020 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Considering the travel Prince Charles does , the air-miles, the car transport, is St. Greta going to put a flea in his ear? Will she tell him we’ll never forgive him?

  26. Fred H
    Posted January 22, 2020 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Victoria Derbyshire Show to come off air as part of BBC cuts. Did she have the temerity to allow Brexit supporters airtime? Big mistake at the BBC.

  27. Helen Smith
    Posted January 22, 2020 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    All Remain had was Project Fear of damage to the economy, now they don’t even have that.

  28. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted January 23, 2020 at 2:59 am | Permalink

    In what sense is Germany pursuing Green policies? It has turned its back on nuclear energy and 40% of its electricity needs are supplied by burning coal. In Poland that figure is 80%. And it’s not just any old coal; it’s filthy brown lignite coal.

    If you trawl through Wikepedia data, you can see which countries emit the most greenhouse gases, which forms of energy generate the most greenhouse gases (coal is in the lead; second is gas with about half of coal’s emission rate), and which countries’ birth rates exceed the replacement rate of 2.1 per female.

    Stopping burning coal and zero population growth might reduce world gross greenhouse gas emissions by 25%, well worth doing.

    If we want to reduce gross greenhouse gas emissions (and therefore net emissions by more), then the most effective measures are to stop burning coal and to aim for world ZPG. We can play our part in both of these. A tourniquet on immigration and a foreign aid policy of “Send them condoms and nothing else” would help.

  • 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.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page