The government has announced that it will make all the payments to farmers, universities and others that the EU is making once we leave. I am glad they have done this. The Leave campaign pointed out we can afford to do so and asked that the government did just that.
Some of the commentary has been bizarre. Trying to turn it into a bad news story, some have suggested that means we will not have the £10bn net contribution to spend on our priorities after all. This picks up an endless confusion some Remain supporters tried to create before the vote. Let’s try and explain it again. All the money the EU pays to UK farmers and others from the EU budget is all money we send to Brussels as part of our gross contribution, and receive back later as payments. This is the main difference between the gross and net figure. The net figure is what it says – the amount of money we send and do not get back at all. Once we are out we can spend that money as we see fit – or give it back in tax cuts to taxpayers – as we no longer will have to send it to the EU to be spent on the continent.
Leave made very few forecasts. Remain specialised in them. Their short term forecasts included rising interest and mortgage rates. Instead both have come down. They included stock market declines. Instead the UK markets have risen. They included a short term recession. This looks unlikely. They included large falls in house prices. So far there has been little change. The RICS in its latest forecasts now expects a resumption of house price growth over one and five years.
As one of the people who spent time in the referendum campaign saying I thought they had grossly overdone the gloom, I am pleased to see retail sales up and mortgage rates down. It was good to see both the Bank of England and the IMF produce post vote forecasts that assume UK growth this year and next. It was also interesting to see the World Bank scale back its pessimism and now say Brexit will lead to just 0.1% off world growth.