The OBR tries to revive its old Remain forecasts

You might have thought official forecasters would have given up trying to prove their wildly pessimistic forecasts about Brexit had a point. After all they said unemployment would rise and it fell, that interest rates would go up and they went down, that GDP would go down and it went up. It was curious that the Bank and Treasury “independent” forecasters , the officials, felt able to publish these pieces. We were told it was fine because it was government policy to stay in the EU so supportive forecasts reflected government wishes. We do not however have them publishing supportive forecasts during a General election, even though Ministers can say it is their government policy for them to get re elected. The officials rightly respect the need for electors to make their own minds up over who to have in government uninfluenced by special official forecasts serving the current government.

I had chosen to remind people of the very inaccurate recent official forecasts of our economy to query some of the policy advice currently being given  to Ministers based on strange views of how the economy has worked in the past. I then heard that the OBR has revived a claim that leaving the EU will cost us 4% of GDP. How do they know this? Over what time period? Why doesn’t the outcome depend on what policies are now being followed?

The OBR has drawn on other people’s work, and it all seems to be based on guesses about trade. They claim trade with the EU will fall and this will cause a fall in productivity which leads to their very precise 4% GDP shortfall.If we lose exports to the EU but at the same time make and grow more things at home to cut imports from the EU that may boost GDP, not reduce it. They do not have to be less productive as they will need modern capital investment and be geared to our shortage of labour.  If we bring down our trade deficit overall we could have a stronger economy. The import model within the single market entailed the loss of a lot of UK capacity and jobs.It meant borrowing more and more money to pay the import  bills or required us to sell our assets to foreigners.


  1. DOM
    July 5, 2022

    Richard Hughes, ex-RF and Europhile but then Sunak knew that we he appointed Hughes.

    It is inevitable that organisations like the OBR become subsumed by politicos and lose their primary purpose of remaining independent and therein lies the problem. That the organisation states its independence but is run by people who act politically.

    Our host isn’t an idiot. He knows these organs of government have become mouthpieces for the EU and those in British politics who seek a return to the EU, like filth Blair some in his own party, and therefore encourage the production of deliberately false and fake forecasts to corroborate the view that Brexit is economically damaging

    The only way to counter such bias is by one, attacking the people who run the organisations and questioning their very motives and two, abolish it. Questioning an organisation’s motive as a whole is an utterly pointless exercise.

    We need a brutal Thatcherite reformation before Blair returns

    1. Leslie Singleton
      July 5, 2022

      We always seem to suffer right left and centre because, so we are told, the EU is so big and we are so small. Why does one not hear similar wails of pain from, say, Canada (and US), or Japan (and Asia), or NZ (and Australia)? I lived on the border between Canada and US for years and encountered not a scintilla of talking down to Canada. Is it simply that the EU are historically our enemies and rely on us in so many ways that they cannot get over it. Swarms desperate to fly to beaches might be part of the problem. Maybe they should stay at home. Macron attempting to kow tow to Putin is despicable and in any event patently does not work–they laugh at him.
      . .

      1. Sir Joe Soap
        July 5, 2022

        There is surely some residual resentment there. At the same time, we presently do ourselves no favours by being hopeless at negotiating and running the country, then having idiots partying and pinching. It just makes us look stupid.

        1. Leslie Singleton
          July 5, 2022

          The PM has really serious problems and agenda galore and shouldn’t have to worry about being sniped at because of the sort of trivial baloney the media love to pursue, and to the last dot and comma, I care not about poor diddums MP’s with their sobs about having to cope with some hard work for once. We do not want a Mr Perfect for PM, nor even close.

    2. Sir Joe Soap
      July 5, 2022

      “We need a brutal Thatcherite reformation before Blair returns” – well Blair is there in the fabric of all these institutions. Had Johnson done a brilliant job, he would still have had a fight on his hands with this lot. As it is, wife and babies, a viral infection and being surrounded by EU lackeys has done for him.

      We need to look amongst those younger MPs who are willing to stand up and speak their mind. Prue Leith’s son seems to have the right approach on this, though I’m not certain what his economic credentials are. It’s a real problem though to keep these type of people on the straight and narrow as they first get vilified by lefties then get sucked along into the mainstream system – party grandees, civil service, BBC, EU cronies, “chaps” in the City, property developers and so on and so forth.

      How can we work out who would “do a Thatcher” and ride this wave? She had a clique-Parkinson, Joseph, Nick Ridley and so on – absolutely crucial. She didn’t “need” the career – Denis did well enough for that not to matter. The search needs to start now, and cliques need building.

    3. Cuibono
      July 5, 2022

      Apparently Sunak took great issue with the OBR’s dire prognostications before the Spring Budget.
      Why he didn’t make his disapproval robust and clear in the media I can’t imagine.
      He needs to view some footage of the wonderful Nigel Lawson in full flood.
      I’m not saying that the Thatcher governments were always right…but at least they stood their ground.

    4. Nottingham Lad Himself
      July 6, 2022

      John’s pitch doesn’t work any more.

      Most people in the country now hate the Tories more than they do either the European Union or brexit.

      They have a bit of a problem.

      1. Peter2
        July 7, 2022

        How do you know?
        What a sage you are NHL

    5. DavidJ
      July 7, 2022

      Indeed Sir Joe and soon. I see BoJo is still clinging on this morning. He needs to go and be replaced by a true Brexiteer who will rid government of all the Remoaners and cease submission to the globalists.

  2. Mark B
    July 5, 2022

    Good morning.

    . . . based on guesses . . .

    And that about sums it all up and is why you should never adhere to forecasts. But alas, many do, sometimes leading to disastrous outcomes.

    We need to examine historical cause and effect as I think that is a better arbiter of what one should do.

    1. Berkshire Alan
      July 5, 2022

      Mark B

      “Historic cause and effect”

      Have said the same on here for many years, accepting crystal ball gazing by those who have never ever got it right is pointless, and it shows a complete lack of personal knowledge, and a failure of management skills.

  3. Bloke
    July 5, 2022

    Why hasn’t the National Audit Office dealt with OBR waste & damage?
    The OBR should be banned for incompetence unless they can do something useful, even once.

    1. hefner
      July 5, 2022

      The OBR had been thought by the CUP and created by the Coalition Government. The present Government could decide to put an end to it.

  4. Graham
    July 5, 2022

    Why all of this talk about returning to the EU when not in a million years will they take a chance with us again – ever- for them to have to listen to a future Widdecombe, Farage and the rest with their non-stop whinging and spouting insults – so no way – not even to the Single Market. So we are destined to trade by WTO rules now and at the very time the WTO itself is disintergrating and then listening to Rees Moog on BBC last evening talking about truck drivers and then other trivia in the face of where we are now and what we know is hard to take – so then wait till they close the channel ports ‘for maintenance’ and force us to push everything to containers at Felixstowe because from what I hear that’s the way we are heading – it’s called divergence and it’ll be on a grand scale

    1. Denis Cooper
      July 5, 2022

      And you’ll be on their side.

    2. Sir Joe Soap
      July 5, 2022

      It’s called self sufficiency and we need more of it.

    3. SM
      July 5, 2022

      Graham: apart from Southampton (a Channel port), the busiest and biggest UK ports by far are Grimsby/Immingham, London, Tees&Hartlepool, Liverpool Merseyside, Felixstowe, Milford Haven and Belfast.

    4. DavidJ
      July 7, 2022

      “their non-stop whinging and spouting insults” fits the Remoaners perfectly.

  5. formula57
    July 5, 2022

    Why does the government not sort out the OBR? That it does not is more proof this government is not on the side of the people.

  6. Sea_Warrior
    July 5, 2022

    Good points, Sir John. But sorting out the OBR is yet another job that your PM will be too idle to do.

  7. Ian Wragg
    July 5, 2022

    The treasury, OBR and most government agencies want us back in the EU. They see our departure as a loss of status for them.
    There is a concerted push in Whitehall to get us back in the EU and until we get a suitable leader it will continue. Vote on Nigel.

    1. Sea_Warrior
      July 5, 2022

      The case for rejoining the EU is weak – and weakens further each time a dirt-poor country bangs on the EU’s door, demanding to be let it. Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and Albania are those banging loudest at the moment. Imagine the bills to bring those countries up to ‘EU standards’!

      1. Cuibono
        July 5, 2022

        Germany is already getting its knickers in a twist regarding such future drains on its wealth and probably influence.
        AND that potty voting system in the EU would apparently give Ukraine 9% of the vote.

        1. Mitchel
          July 5, 2022

          What wealth?Tweet from Holger Zschapitz of Die Welt yesterday:

          “Good morning from Germany which is failing as an economic powerhouse on a global scale.Germany’s trade surplus is gone.Foreign trade balance came in at MINUS 1 bn Euros in May,which is the first negative print since 1991 due to it’s energy problem and weakness in manufacturing.”

          Another commentator recently said that a Germany forced to cut all ties with Russia would be a “Bolivia on the Rhine”.Obviously,a Bolivia on the Rhine would not be capable of acting as paymaster to the EU.

          In another (expected) turn of the screw,The Sirius Report reported yesterday that:

          “Russia is now turning it’s attention to soft commodities.It is demanding payment in Rubles for grains,sunflower oil and extracted meal.

          West still has no idea what is going on.”

          Dmitry Medvedev recently sent out a picture on his Telegram channel of a pampered,self-satisfied looking cat lying on a rug with the caption :”Awaiting the next round of sanctions.”

      2. Dave Andrews
        July 5, 2022

        The case for rejoining the EU being weak won’t deter the wedge of EUphiles for whom the EU is their Shangri-La, and suppose all those who voted to Remain have the same sycophant view. They don’t, just as all those who voted to Leave weren’t Brexiteers who hated the EU. The EUphiles will continue their campaign, marshalling their forces of sympathetic politicians, media and focus groups.
        Their ought to be no prospect of the UK rejoining, given the requirements to adopt the Euro and comply with the Maastricht Treaty requirement of debt to GDP ratio of 60%. I fear though there are many in Brussels corridors who wish to subsume the people of the UK into their control once again no matter what.

        1. DavidJ
          July 7, 2022

          We need a robust Treason and Sedition Law which would impose severe penalties on those seeking to submit us to rule by any foreign or global entity.

      3. IanT
        July 5, 2022

        Germany has some serious economic problems currently, in no small part engineered by the sainted Angela Merkel (don’t hear too much from her lately, do you?). As Germany is the largest contributor and effectively paymaster to the EU, this is going to have a ripple down effect for the existing 20 net ‘takers’. Not to mention that some euro banks appear to have real issues with their extremely high asset to equity ratios. So when Christine (the Euro Guard) finally gets around to increasing interest rates – it’s going to be quite painful.
        We do of course have our own problems but if there is just one thing we should all be grateful for, it’s that we never joined the euro or we would be in the same (sinking) ship.

      4. R.Grange
        July 5, 2022

        True enough, S_W. But unfortunately the EU seems happy to accept a country like Ukraine, the second most corrupt country in Europe even before the war, according to the Corruption Perceptions Index of Transparency International. Now it’s outlawed most political parties, and put opposition politicians and journalists in jail. But apparently that’s all just fine by ‘EU standards’.

      5. MWB
        July 5, 2022

        Imagine the bill for re-building Ukraine.
        EU would fall over them semselves to get UK back, because they want our money.

      6. Know-Dice
        July 5, 2022

        It’s called “levelling down”…

      7. Jamie
        July 5, 2022

        The thing about bringing these poorer countries up to EU standards is not out of any sense of altruism but more to develop huge markets so that the rest of the EU can sell into – now do you understand?

    2. Bill brown
      July 5, 2022

      Nigel who?

      1. Fedupsoutherner
        July 5, 2022

        You need to get out more Bill.

  8. Richard1
    July 5, 2022

    Whilst project fear has undoubtedly been shown to be nonsense, those who advocated Brexit are now on precarious ground as it’s quite clear we have seen very little in the way of claimed advantages. On the other hand there are some very clear disadvantages. The NI border debacle, the wrecking of the UK’s relationships with important neighbouring countries, especially France and Ireland. And it is simply denial of reality to say it hasn’t impacted both business with the EU and peoples’ freedoms – everything from the inconvenience of the new border arrangements to the 90 day rule etc. one remain forecast which has proven correct is the UK’s underperformance in trade and investment.

    None of this means Brexit will ultimately prove a failure, but if I was, eg, a Brexit-supporting Conservative MP, I would be very concerned indeed about this government’s apparent refusal to make any real efforts to realise advantages from Brexit. The public can hardly be blamed before too long for concluding that the whole thing was far more trouble than it was worth. And voting accordingly.

    1. Sharon
      July 5, 2022

      “ The public can hardly be blamed before too long for concluding that the whole thing was far more trouble than it was worth. ”

      Isn’t that the plans and hopes of the remainers. ‘You know who’ has apparently thrown lots of money at the remainers to push Brexit as the reason for everything that fails! Even empty food shelves in the US and Australia was being peddled as caused by Brexit during the lockdown years!

      1. DavidJ
        July 7, 2022


    2. Paul Edwards
      July 5, 2022

      Very well put, Richard1 👍

    3. MFD
      July 5, 2022

      What nonsense Richard! The benefits are many and varied but our Bojo has not the balls to fight.
      The first move should and must be to shut the land bridge to our enemies in France and the Republic of Ireland. We also need to rename our province as West Britain to end the republican terrorists expectation of winning.
      Finally we need to drop all silly agreements and trade under WTO rules.
      I have boycotted all eu goods and farm produce and although it was difficult originally its much easier now.
      I refuse to allow my money to give them any benefit.

      1. DavidJ
        July 7, 2022


    4. Original Richard
      July 5, 2022

      Our EU exit negotiations were sabotaged by a Remain PM, Parliament and Civil Service and they are all still putting spanners into Brexit wherever possible.

      Hence it will take time to extricate ourselves from EU subjugation just as it took time to overcome our Roman and Norman Conquest enslavements.

  9. Roy Grainger
    July 5, 2022

    Aren’t our monthly exports to the EU currently at the highest level since records began ? Did they predict that ?

    The OBR know that lurid made-up scare stories are a good way to get their preferred policies implemented. It’s the Professor Neil Ferguson approach.

  10. MPC
    July 5, 2022

    But the government shows no overt commitment to ‘making and growing things at home to cut imports’. The OBR pessimism is not misplaced. We’re well on the way to being a fully fledged warehouse economy with no manufacturing industry and declining domestic food production. That really is what this government wants.

    1. graham1946
      July 5, 2022

      That’s been policy since the 80’s and we have lost vast amounts of manufacture and virtually all our heavy engineering. Taking in other countries’ washing seems to be the aim of the Tory party and one can only conclude that that they are desperate to re-join the EU. I do not believe the nonsense that the EU won’t have us back, they will jump at the chance to take our money. I have never heard any Remainer suggest why it is us as a country that absolutely needs to pay large sums of money to have the EU sell their stuff to us in order to obtain a disadvantageous balance of payments that have to be made up by trading with the rest of the world. Thank God we still have a finance industry or we’d be done for and of course the EU would dearly like to take that from us.

    2. a-tracy
      July 5, 2022

      Hopefully, this might cheer you up. In June manufacturing investments: Renishaw £50m, BAE £500m Typhoon contract, British Steel £80m, JCB 200 new jobs, Ciner £390m new factory 600 jobs, GSK £90m factory, Smith & Nephew £80m factory. Nissan creating 300 more jobs in Sunderland to build electric cars part of a £1bn investment program. AstraZeneca Oxford – £1bn investment in Cambridge research facility world-leading cancer halting drugs. Airbus Broughton £30bn list price in orders from China.

    3. John Hatfield
      July 5, 2022

      Frustrating eh, MPC? Vote Reform UK.

    4. John Hatfield
      July 5, 2022

      Frustrating isn’t it, MPC. We need Sir John to cross over to Reform.

      1. rose
        July 5, 2022

        We need Sir John at the Treasury.

  11. Mickey Taking
    July 5, 2022

    We don’t believe them (OBR, Treasury, The Bank etc – wild guesses seek to support pissed-off Remainers).

  12. Cuibono
    July 5, 2022

    I notice that firms selling from the EU ( I hastily abandoned a plan to buy curtains from France) include dire warnings about VAT, customs duties ( approximated amounts) and call it all “ Brexit Rules”.
    I now daren’t send personal mail abroad because the recipient is often asked to cough up various fees.
    Punishment beatings!
    For leaving their horrible club.

    1. Cuibono
      July 5, 2022

      Oh and much as I consciously avoid MSM I understand that it rarely reports anti globalist demos and import/export issues in other countries.
      Look at the Dutch farmers! Chaos is not restricted to the U.K.
      It is being micromanaged somewhere else!

  13. Cuibono
    July 5, 2022

    I was so upset at what the Left was allowed to do when Mrs Thatcher died.
    What on earth is the matter with the tories?
    Not really conservatives any more?

    1. MFD
      July 5, 2022

      Well said Sir!

  14. turboterrier
    July 5, 2022

    The posts this week just really prompt one question.
    Why in hells teeth are these people still in a job?
    Not sure draining the swamp would ever work, to get back on the right track it will need the rivers and seas to be included as well as the rot is so well entrenched.

    1. Mitchel
      July 5, 2022

      The system is in control;the system needs to be smashed.No one has the courage to do it(and we are past the point of no return anyway),so we’ll just have to wait for the inevitable collapse which external forces and events in the East are going to trigger.

  15. Bill brown
    July 5, 2022

    Sir JR

    Interesting perspective but it is still too early to forecast the consequences of Brexit, although lots of forecasters talk about 4 PCT.
    Your alternative scenario is about as unprecise as the OBR, and we don’t have a government capable of using the potential benefits you are taking about

  16. SecretPeople
    July 5, 2022

    I am sorry this is off-topic (though it touches everything relating to life for the electorate), but what is this reported in The Times today that an exemption for visa penalties/sanctions have been lifted for Indian and Pakistani citizens? I read the papers every day but haven’t seen this reported previously.

    “Pakistan is also expected to escape visa sanctions because of a crucial security and counter-terrorism partnership, government officials said.”

    The bar was very low already. There is no control over immigration in this country.

  17. Denis Cooper
    July 5, 2022

    The Irish News has rather belatedly published a letter that I sent in, as follows:

    “Protocol equation will produce opposite result”

    “Claire Hanna claims that the Northern Ireland Protocol gives the province a “competitive advantage” – ‘Tory protocol bill will shred north’s competitive advantage’ (June 24).

    Well, it is perfectly credible that a company which exports a lot of goods to the EU may find that on balance the protocol is beneficial.

    However, the equation will produce an opposite result for the many other companies, and individuals, who do not export goods to the EU but who must still bear the costs of the new EU-mandated restrictions on imports from the rest of the UK. In that sense Northern Ireland now replicates on a smaller scale the position of the whole of the UK when we were in the EU, with about 6 per cent of businesses exporting about 12 per cent of GDP to the EU and sharing the rather small gross benefit of the EU Single Market, about 1 per cent of GDP, but everybody else just getting the costs.”

    I sent her a copy but she has not come back to put me right.

  18. ChrisS
    July 5, 2022

    If Starmer is to be believed, there is now no likelyhood of us rejoining the EU and even Blair has said it won’t happen within a generation. ( I doubt whether the EU, as currently formulated, will still exist after another generation). Surely it is now time for even the arch-remainers like Adonis to abandon their quest and start to help make Brexit work for us ?

    We need to make our economy more efficient and automation should be made the top priority now that industry cannot simply take on more and more low paid Eastern European workers ? To achieve this, businesses will need finance for the new machinery they will require, and not on the usual three year loans that banks prefer. We need to copy the system used by German banks with seven and ten year loans which give companies a chance of making some money rather than risk going bust because of excessive repayments that go hand in hand with short term financing.

    Short termism in the city has blighted British industry for generations and a rethink is necessary.

  19. The Prangwizard
    July 5, 2022

    The whole country’s administration is rotten, diseased. Wherever eyes are cast we see incompetence, subversion, treachery, breach of law or regulation, or failure to impliment essential action, often deliberate witholding tbe law, but most of all lack of morality.

    There is no care about right or wrong, about good or bad. There is no punishment for wrongdoing. We ought to have a leader and a surrounding group to guard and promote national identity and history against decay and destruction. We are required to adopt fragmentation; Inclusivity and diversity are being misued as destructive forces.

    There are exceptions who do want a restoration of decency and they must be encouraged but those who speak out are often derided by the corrupt majority.

    Decision making by those in powerful and influential positions is not influenced by conscience because this is almost unknown. Personal enhancement is the only motivation at the top and ‘getting away with it’ whenever possible.

  20. glen cullen
    July 5, 2022

    I’m fed up with our MPs handing outsourcing their work and responsibility to Quango’s, NGO’s, OBR, EU, UN etc etc
    Disband all these bodies and get our MPs back to work…. idle hands and all that

    1. Bryan Harris
      July 5, 2022

      @glen cullen +999

      Ruled by bureaucracy as we are now, the only thing we can do to gain real freedom of action without the insipid politics making us more wretched, is to abandon the global organisations and quangos – Aside from NATO, perhaps, none of them have done us any lasting good, far from it. They are all expensive toys that are now doing more harm than good.

      Even NATO has been taken over by the new world movement, to our detriment.

      1. DavidJ
        July 7, 2022

        Well said Bryan; Boris has been far too eager to submit us to globalist policies.

    2. turboterrier
      July 5, 2022

      glenn cullen

      Very well said, you are not alone in your thinking.

  21. Bryan Harris
    July 5, 2022

    Well said JR — No wonder you are in demand for interviews.

    Please keep it up with these revelations.

  22. Atlas
    July 5, 2022

    Indeed so Sir John – and it is the same mentality that is driving the Climate Modellers (and all their protestors) as well.

  23. Denis Cooper
    July 5, 2022

    Highly relevant, from a keynote speech by Lord Frost on June 23 2022:

    “On trade first, the crucial point to make is that a decline in trade numbers is not the same thing as a decline in GDP, although you could be forgiven for missing this when listening to some anti-Brexit campaigners. It is of course true that some academic work has sought to establish a clear linkage between trade, productivity, and growth – work that underpinned the 2018 GES report and whose zombie figure of 4% GDP decline is still quoted by the OBR and others as if it were an actual fact. In my view – and not only my view, that of other economists – the link is overplayed. Those studies primarily looked at the effect of opening up badly run ex-Communist and ex-authoritarian autarchic economies in which opening up was producing huge improvements to the policy regime more generally, and in which the gains came from these broader improvements not just from trade. It is in my view much more questionable, and far from established, whether small changes in trade make any meaningful difference for advanced economies at the production frontier.

    And we are talking about small changes. There is a huge amount of noise in the figures because of the pandemic, supply chain disruption, trade diversion, the ONS measurement changes which mean there is a discontinuity between this year and earlier figures, and now the war in Ukraine which has brought significant changes to oil and LNG flows via the UK. So it is hard to be confident what if any changes in UK trade are due to Brexit. This will of course become much clearer over time, but meanwhile anyone who draws firm conclusions from the figures is not really being honest with the data. What we can be confident about is that it doesn’t bear the catastrophism that some seek to attribute it. As the ONS said this month, “EU exports have increased for the third consecutive month in April 2022 and are at the highest levels since records began.” They also note that our trade in services surplus is actually increasing despite all the predictions.”

    1. Limm
      July 6, 2022

      In short, Brexit is going badly, but it could be worse. Inspiring, eh!

      1. Denis Cooper
        July 7, 2022

        Your short, not his or mine.

      2. DavidJ
        July 7, 2022


  24. Mike Wilson
    July 5, 2022

    The OBR is a waste of money. Nobody can accurately make economic forecasts. The city slobs earning fortunes for managing funds get it right one year and hopelessly wrong the next. No-one gets it right all the time. Disband it. Government should create conditions for stability and not allow boom and bust. But they thrive on boom to get re- elected. Not sure how great democracy is.

  25. XY
    July 5, 2022

    Depressing stuff.

    a constant question in my mind when I read this site is “What’s the solution?”.

    If a long-term MP and some time minister can’t do anything about it, then… are we doomed to an ever-encroaching socialism and pro-EU tendency via infiltration of official bodies?

    Perhaps the ERG types need to have a plan. If Boris is not the answer then who and what will get us back on track? You have to be sure that the new PM will win a leadership electon with a large rump of remoaner MPs and that he can win a GE. Then, you have to be sure that he will enact the right policies and appoint the right people to help him do that.

    Is there ay such person and any such course of action? If not, perhaps you guy shad better turn your attention to Step 1 of such a plan?

    P.S. Gettin CCHQ sorted out must be a priority. The last two by-elections were telling. In one, a Leave-voting constituency had a remoaner candidate foisted on them. That is quite ridiculous and must never happen again. Start there – get your man into CCHQ and get some people up as candidates who are pro-Brexit and who have some skills that would be of use in government.

  26. Iago
    July 5, 2022

    Excess deaths up by 16.6% over the five year average in the week to June 24th.

    Why? Is the government interested? Apparently not.

  27. Mark Thomas
    July 5, 2022

    Sir John,
    The remain campaign never ended, it just went undercover and is now re-emerging.
    What I do believe is that the more time passes, the less likely we will ever willingly rejoin the EU. Even if the civil service tried to keep us as close as possible, we will still diverge as the EU has its own agenda. Although it is increasingly being pushed off track by outside events such as the conflict in Ukraine, the repercussions from which are only just beginning.
    If ever there was a second referendum, then it would be remain versus rejoin. The new remainers are the ones wishing to remain independent. The issues would be clear as rejoining would mean adopting the euro, free movement as part of Schengen, no rebates, much increased contributions to an ever-expanding budget, qualified majority voting, being drawn into foreign conflicts as part of an EU-led military, the relocation of any remaining UK industry and manufacturing, no limit on the size and number of foreign fishing vessels, punitive fines, fees or other charges to make up for the money lost to the EU when we were not members, primacy of the ECJ, and so it goes on. For the rejoiners it would be back on the gravy train.

  28. acorn
    July 5, 2022

    According to the SCM metric, UK GDP is down 5.2%. Gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) is down 13.7%. Goods trade is down 13.6% Services is up 7.9% plus or minus a lot, difficult to measure. GDP is not much of a guidance under present high imported inflation condition. The show stopper is the decline in GFCF since 2015 election; indicating poor growth prospects. (The SCM metric won the Nobel prise for economics for David Card last year.)

    1. Denis Cooper
      July 6, 2022

      If UK GDP is down 5.2%, why does this chart:
      show it as being 2.9% higher in 2021 than it was in 2016, and despite the major hit of the pandemic?

  29. Mickey Taking
    July 5, 2022

    More evidence on Pincher that Johnson cannot be trusted to tell the truth on anything.
    Why do Tory MPs not feel thoroughly ashamed?

  30. wab
    July 5, 2022

    “If we lose exports to the EU but at the same time make and grow more things at home to cut imports from the EU that may boost GDP, not reduce it.”

    “If we bring down our trade deficit overall we could have a stronger economy.”

    An easy game to play.

    If we had a Prime Minister with some integrity…

    If Tory MPs did not just vote to violate an international treaty that the UK proposed…

    If the country had not been run by mediocre public school / Oxford humanities graduates the last decade…

    If a large chunk of the media was not controlled by foreign oligarchs…

    If Brexit had not happened…

    You know the Brexiters are desperate when they start blaming the problems that they themselves created on (a) the EU and (b) the civil service. Every day they should just repeat: The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves…

  31. Denis Cooper
    July 5, 2022

    Now Denis MacShane:

    has put in another appearance here:

    criticising Keir Starmer and repeating as if was a proven fact:

    “Unmentioned in his speech was the UK 4 per cent drop in GDP”

    The speech was given in the Irish Embassy for the 24th anniversary of the Centre for European Reform, which he thinks is “the best of the new European policy thinktanks set up towards the end of the last century”.

    Well, some people would disagree with that:

    “Why the Centre for European Reform is wrong about Brexit”

    Their analysis uses a nonsensical approach of treating the economy of the UK as being equivalent to various combinations of the economies of foreign countries, and moreover not always the same combination.

    For example in their latest report “The doppelgänger group for GDP is made up of the United States (31per cent), Germany (15 per cent), New Zealand (14 per cent), Norway (8 per cent) and Australia (5 per cent).” whereas “in its early calculations starting in June 2018 the comparator countries were mainly USA, Germany and Luxemburg but also Iceland and Greece”.

  32. bill brown
    July 5, 2022

    Sir JR,

    An interesting perspective but it is probably too early to give a clear indicaiton of the consequences of Brexit , although more than OBR forecasted 4 to 6% loss for leaving the EU.
    THE pound has lost 8% over all with other foreign currencies since the vote, (which means increased inflationa and it has not raised exports.)
    We probably need mre time to get the full picture, however, I do not think your proposals are much more informed than what is coming out of the OBR

    Reply Most currencies have been weak against the dollar over that time period and the dollar has a high weighting. Employment has performed very well contrary to Remain forecasts.

    1. John Hatfield
      July 5, 2022

      It is interesting that Europhiles blame Brexit itself for any loss of performance instead of those who are running the country in the interests of of the EU rather than the electorate.

    2. Bill brown
      July 5, 2022

      Sir JR

      The pound has lost value against the majority of European currencies over the past 12 months, unemployment has been falling across the western world like in Britain

      Reply More lies. The pound against the Euro, the currency of all the main Eu countries, is level with a year ago

      1. acorn
        July 6, 2022

        Look at this chart for the last two decades to see the effects of economic events. The Pound crash of 2008 and the prospect of a referendum in 2015.*&fd=1&fm=1&fy=2002&ld=31&lm=12&ly=2022&y=daily&q=volume&f=svg&a=lin&m=0&x=

  33. ChrisS
    July 5, 2022

    I have been a supporter of this government and will always be grateful that the PM did, indeed, get Brexit done.
    I believe he made the best possible deal, given the deeply flawed hand he was left by Teresa May and the EU’s intransigence.

    However, the events of this morning have descended into farce. How could the Prime Minister have ever thought it sensible to re-appoint Pincher as a minister, let alone as Deputy Chief Whip !

    If I was a cabinet minister, I would now be very reluctant to go out in front of the media circuit to preach the No 10 line on anything. Dominic Raab must be furious that he was put in such an embarassing position on the Today programme this morning.

    I regret that I can now see no way for Boris Johnson to continue to lead the government, let alone lead the party into the next election.

    1. ukretired123
      July 5, 2022

      Time for Boris to listen to Sir John’s wise advice even belatedly.

  34. paul
    July 5, 2022

    The MMT system is at a crossroad, John has supported this MMT system on his arrival in the HOC and before, it was started as a experiment in 1980/82, in the last 23 years after labour got behind it in 2000 with house prices, the system has broken 4 times, that less than six years each time and here you are again in 2022 now less than five years apart from the last bailouts over 23 years, so yes saving the system and your wealth or start a new system. If you sit in the HOC and have wealth you vote for the MMT system, save you from having to think.

  35. Rhoddas
    July 5, 2022

    Remainer/rejoiner agenda… same with all the quango’s. Rinse and repeat.
    Purge/dissolve is the only way, but no bottle for it in this Gov sadly.

  36. Denis Cooper
    July 5, 2022

    Today there are multiple media reports about Brexit stopping rare animal breeding programmes, for example:

    “Cross-border calls from zoos and aquariums for post-Brexit animal transfer agreement”

    Unless anything significant has changed in the way that the UK deals with these animals since we left the EU, or in the way that the EU deals with these animals since the UK left the EU, then I would say that the agreement should be to carry on just as we did before the UK left the EU.

    But maybe that’s me looking at it from a practical point of view and considering what might be best for the rare animals and their breeding programmes, and not taking into account the base desire of certain people to cause maximum unnecessary disruption to show that Brexit was a bad idea.

    I suppose that it falls within the scope of DEFRA, and maybe they could explain what is going on. I do find that this problem was highlighted as long ago as February 2021:

    “Twycross Zoo conservation ‘halted by lack of Brexit forms'”

    “A zoo says its conservation programme has stalled due to a lack of post-Brexit paperwork.”

    So which is it, too much post-Brexit paperwork or a lack of post-Brexit paperwork?

    1. acorn
      July 5, 2022

      The new post brexit paperwork now required, is yet to be made available by this unprepared UK post brexit government. Simples.

      1. Denis Cooper
        July 6, 2022

        So it should be simple for you to prove that claim.

    2. Pot
      July 6, 2022

      So your message to the EU is – we’ve left but please pretend we haven’t

      1. Denis Cooper
        July 7, 2022

        My message would be to use some common sense.

  37. Original Richard
    July 5, 2022

    It’s not just the OBR but all our taxpayer funded institutions that are infested with a fifth column determined to destroy our economy and democracy led by the CCC who will eventually do the most damage of all with their climate crisis lies.

    They’re not pro EU other than because they know that the membership of an undemocratic empire determined to expand eastwards with unlimited immigration and budget contributions will bring our country to its knees even quicker.

  38. glen cullen
    July 5, 2022

    Boris + Net-Zero = Recession and stock market collapse

  39. Brearley
    July 5, 2022

    You argue we will be better off by reducing exports and reducing imports. You really have said goodbye to logic and reason, and certainly to the basics of economics. Stop the world the UK wants to get off… and thanks to this catastrophic Brexit, the UK has

  40. DOM
    July 5, 2022

    Sunak and Jabbit resigned

  41. Fedupsoutherner
    July 5, 2022

    So two cabinet ministers have gone very quickly. How many more? Get on with it. I’m all for Andrew Bridgen. Boris had better go quickly so your government can at last do something useful. Something big needs to happen and we need to get back confidence. No mucking around with the likes of May. We need a go-getter who will take advantage of Brexit. Just do something sensible and stop the woke rubbish. Let’s get on with REAL life and become a force in the world again.

    1. graham1946
      July 5, 2022

      Never mind FUS, you won’t get what you want. When the Tories do elect another leader it will be another dud, like all since Thatcher.

    2. turboterrier
      July 5, 2022

      F U S
      I feel we have had enough of the boys season and it hasn’t worked.
      We need experience, qualified and above all trusted and respected by his peers. Much the same for the cabinet. Very big ask on that one.
      Sadly our host won’t be throwing his hat into the ring.

      Reply I would be happy to serve

  42. a-tracy
    July 5, 2022

    Well, this tea-time news is very exciting. Carrie’s pick Javid a sharp knife between the shoulder blades. Sunak getting his own back for his wife getting hauled over the coals and Partygate isn’t he another one of Carries’ friends.

    Can we have some grown ups in charge please – JR Chancellor, Hollobone NHS, Lilley Chairman.

  43. Sea_Warrior
    July 5, 2022

    I suppose that any Cabinet members harbouring leadership ambitions will now feel under pressure to follow the lead of Javid and Sunak, to avoid being seen as lacking in moral strength. Perhaps that old saying about knives and crowns no longer holds true.

  44. ukretired123
    July 5, 2022

    OBR model was originally developed by the Treasury in 1970 and is jointly maintained by both and claims independent …..
    Based on a proprietary USA private file format and Windows PC based time series program TSP language dating back 50 years changing owners and iterations. It allows a mixed bag of inputs.
    OBR openly show the model code used but most significantly not their key assumptions. It means:
    “two forecasters using exactly the same model could end up with very different forecasts because the judgements underpinning them differ”” such as by Remainer and by a Brexiteer …….
    As a result the model is deterministic as to what you want it to show, optimistic or pessimistic. Thus the model just like the Treasury model is subjective, not objective. Assumptions will be groupthink too, not wishing to rock the civil service boat.

  45. glen cullen
    July 5, 2022

    A police force using electric vehicles is struggling to respond to crime because the batteries keep going flat, a Police and Crime Commissioner said.
    Gloucestershire Constabulary has the largest full electric fleet in the UK, making up 21% of their 435 vehicles.

    1. mancunius
      July 5, 2022

      Maybe the police vehicles are driving round Tewkesbury or Cheltenham, looking for somewhere to park their cars. After a few hours cruising hopelessly around the place, naturally their batteries go flat.

  46. XY
    July 5, 2022

    Great to see Sunak gone! Yessssss!

    Boris was utterly dense to try to lie about not knowing though, why not simply say “He promised he’d never do it again, he seemed genuine, I gave him a second chance”?

    No-one would blame him for that. And it’s probably what actually happened.

    BUT NOW… I sincerely hope that Monsieur Redwood is on the phone to Boris. Throw your hat in the ring, don’t wait to be called! Don’t wait for him to foist another Sunak on us.

    1. a-tracy
      July 5, 2022

      XY 👍🏻 Come on John, don‘t be a Farage throw your hat in the ring for Chancellor, Boris needs a trustworthy, knowledgeable Chancellor.

    2. Iain Moore
      July 5, 2022

      Yes Sir John would be a great Chancellor to have, about the only one talking sense of the economy.

  47. Mike
    July 5, 2022

    Denis.. whatever it is.. it is just brexit.. the whole thing is a disaster. A disaster in the way it happened and then in the way government managed it. So now tonight then we can put aside the ORB and looking at Boris apologising again on TV I was thinking it’s all getting rather boring – i do hope he takes the rest of them with him when he folds.. especially J.R-Moog – as am fed up listening to him pontificating. Everytime I see him am reminded of the time he was found stretched out full length lounging in the House.. not much respect shown there.

  48. mancunius
    July 5, 2022

    Surely the OBR should be independent of the Treasury? And yet it is led by the Treasury’s Head of Fiscal policy. This looks like an opportunity for the Treasury to impose the Treasury remainer view on the Chancellor and the government. If it is not, then find a genuinely independent economist – one who is not a groupthink europhile – and appoint him/her instead. Roger Bootle or Liam Halligan – for example – would be excellent choices.

  49. glen cullen
    July 5, 2022

    Show your hand and go for PM, shout out for repealing the ECHR, the climate change act, the climate change committee, the policy of net-zero and stop the spending on HS2…be the conservative PM that Boris couldn’t be

  50. Mickey Taking
    July 6, 2022

    Possibly the start of the end of the long and winding road?

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