Wrong forecasts and good jobs figures

Before the referendum campaign Remain advocates told us the uncertainty generated by the referendum vote would hit our economy. It didn’t. During the referendum campaign proper, the Remain campaign aided by the Treasury and the Bank of England, the IMF and many investment banks, told us the economy would be badly damaged by the vote if it went the “wrong” way. They said there would be short term damage from the shock to confidence. There wasn’t.

So what are these unsuccessful forecasters saying now? Some of them are busily revising up their forecasts for 2016-17 for the UK, though still believing there will be a slowdown. Most have cancelled any thoughts of recession. Now they tell us what they meant all along was it would be the sending of the Article 50 letter that brings on the bad news.

Why so? Surely markets have discounted the sending of the letter by now, as the government has made clear it does intend to implement the views of the people, just as the previous government made it clear it was the duty of Parliament and government to carry out the decision of the voters. Why is sending a letter more of a shock than the UK voters deciding?

I guess they will go on telling us there is some new milestone in our exit which will trigger the bad news they forecast and seem to crave. If you wait long enough there might be bad news for some unrelated reason which they could doubtless cling on to. Over the last week, for example, government borrowing rates have risen sharply here as elsewhere in the world. They are still below pre referendum levels, and they have risen because of remarks of the Fed and the Bank of Japan. The Fed is likely to have more impact on our economic future than the Brexit vote this year and into next.

Yesterday saw more good economic news. Employment continued to increase in July after the vote. Employment now stands at a new high of 74.5% of the possible workforce. There are 750,000 vacancies available, with 31.77 million people in work. There are no signs of the threatened job losses that would follow a vote to leave.


  1. DaveM
    September 15, 2016

    “it would be the sending of the Article 50 letter that brings on the bad news.”

    It might well be……there’s only one way to find out.

    At the next GE, Mr R, if Mrs May loses her seat is she going to just hang around 10 Downing Street and continue to do the PM’s job until she feels ready to go? Or is she going to negotiate with the person who got more votes than her? Or perhaps she might just do the conventional thing and leave office immediately in accordance with the majority’s democratic decision.

  2. Mark B
    September 15, 2016

    Good morning.

    Even ‘if’ Art.50 is invoked there will be little change. But this depends on the government making sure that it has both the right regulatory and trading position in any plan, if one !

    When markets know that both the regulatory and trading points that are important for a good steady and trouble free exit from the EU, then there will be some post BREXIT after shock, but not much as everyone comes to terms with the new arrangement.

    Much also depends on what the EU does post BREXIT, and so far, the signs do not look good. They are already quibbling over money and what to do. Do they cut the EU budget or, as some might want, ask others like Germany to pay more ? Both are fraught with difficulties.

    But it is good to know that the general momentum is for the UK to leave the EU, and via Art.50 as I have always argued. 🙂

  3. Brexit Facts4EU.org
    September 15, 2016

    Your article highlights the extraordinary level of propaganda the Leavers had to overcome in winning the Referendum. This continues to this day of course. The reality is that the sky hasn’t fallen in despite the immediate effects which were predicted by the Government and various august bodies.

    In fact there is such a quantity of reassuring news that the latest good employment figures barely rated a mention in the mainstream media. Nor did the fact that the number of EU nationals working in the UK jumped again, to 2.23 million. [ONS data: http://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/bulletins/uklabourmarket/september2016#summary-of-latest-labour-market-statistics ]

    We’ve published 3 short pieces on the ‘State of the Union’ speech by Jean-Claude Juncker yesterday, in the EU Parliament. In his speech, he once again confirmed the continued establishment of the EU army (which Remainers denied during the campaign), as well as announcing a 100,000 strong EU youth corps. And no, we haven’t made this up.

    In his opening remarks, he even questioned the continued existence of the EU – “Our European Union is, at least in part, in an existential crisis” – quite bizarre.

    Your readers can read about Mr Juncker’s speech (and watch the video) here:

    Best, wishes, the Facts4EU.org team

    1. Know-dice
      September 15, 2016

      Europe should be very worried about the “all encompassing” direction of the EU. Junkers comments yesterday should be challenged by all of the EU member nations.

      Why should the EU have an army?
      Whose finger will be on the button?

      This direction has the potential of 1938 all over again.

      And on another subject…it’s mooted that the BBC should declare all “stars” paid over £150,000. I would suggest this should include ALL BBC staff, but not only the BBC any body/company that has ANY public funding, including the NHS the Civil Service, HMRC etc. etc.

    2. Ed Mahony
      September 15, 2016

      ‘Your article highlights the extraordinary level of propaganda the Leavers had to overcome in winning the Referendum’

      – Oh come on. Brexiteers used propaganda as well 1. £350m. 2. Invasion of Turkish immigrants. And more.
      The real argument over Brexit isn’t the short-term, but the long term. What is extraordinary is how often Brexiteers ignore Japan’s sober warning about Brexit (one commentator here said we can take on Japan in a trade war or words to that effect). Japan has been the most vocal outside the EU about Breixt. But it’s well-known that China and the US have very strong reservations and concerns about Brexit as well, and this is also connected to how we forge trade deals outside the EU.
      Yes, to strong reform of the EU, above all on immigration. But we also need a clear plan and strong unity and leadership from the Brexiteers in government about Brexit. Instead we get nothing except a lot of ‘waffle’ from leading Brexiteers in government (and acting like ‘headless chickens’ as Michael O’ Leary aptly described them right now) except a lot of wishful thinking from their supporters at grass root.

      1. Anonymous
        September 15, 2016

        “What is extraordinary is how often Brexiteers ignore Japan’s sober warning about Brexit”

        Well here’s one Brexiteer who has not ignored Japan. But we cannot continue with such trade arrangements if it means that they want us to be ruled by supra-national government and our borders conrolled by the EU.

        1. Ed Mahony
          September 16, 2016

          ‘they want us to be ruled by supra-national government’ – that’s an exaggeration

          (and anyway, i hate to be cynical but Machiavelli, history and experience show us that we shouldn’t be too utopian in our estimation of our own politicians, of our own parliament).

          Parliament must serve the people. Not people, parliament. And if the EU brings about the greatest prosperity + peace + security in the long-term (whilst we must always challenge it / reforme it), then losing some sovereignty is easily worth it (where losing some sovereignty only affects politicians, and their grasp of power, not the people and their greater need for long-term prosperity + peace + security).

          1. Mitchel
            September 16, 2016

            “Parliament must serve the people”…..”prosperity+peace +security”

            sounds rather like Lenin’s “Bread,Peace & Land” and “all power to the peoples soviets”.

            And that turned out well,didn’t it?

          2. Edward2
            September 16, 2016

            Read the Five Presidents Peport
            The United States of Europe plan is all in there.
            Army as well.
            The reason I voted out was because the EU and its failing Eurozone is not a success.

          3. Ed Mahony
            September 17, 2016


            ‘Prosperity + peace + security’ isn’t a slogan unlike the Communist one you referred. It is simply the three words the sum up the argument for remaining in the EU.
            The Remainers didn’t have a catchy slogan unlike Brexiteers (‘Take Back Control’ – whatever that really means?).

            To try and associate me with Communism for stating the main objectives of remaining in the EU is laughable. I’m a centre-right Tory supporter. But if it makes you feel better to think of me as a Communist because I disagree with you over the EU, just adds to my concern that Brexiteers have lost leave of their senses over the EU.

            Yes, there is a lot wrong with the EU and it needs strong reform. But you don’t become such a fanatic about it that you start calling (or insinutating) that centre-right wing Conservatives such as me – who support a reformed EU – are communists for disagreeing with you. It’s absurd. Just as Brexit is turning out to be absurd – until that is, we are offered a proper, detailed plan for Mr Fox, Davis and Johnson, including real unity and leadership from them. Until that happens, then we must be sceptical and keep them on their toes to deliver a plan – and quick.

            Oh, and are the Japanese Communists as well for challenging Brexit? Or the USA or China. Or the Financial Times. And many businesses and business people in the UK ..

            Reply Take back control is very simple and easy to grasp. It means that like all the other non EU countries of the world we make our own laws and plan our own budgets without needing EU approval or control.

          4. Edward2
            September 17, 2016

            Did you mean to direct your rant at Mitchel ?

      2. Denis Cooper
        September 16, 2016

        Japan’s warning was addressed to the EU as well as the UK.

        But they want us to do what they themselves refuse to do, accept unlimited and uncontrolled immigration from their trading partners.

    3. Lifelogic
      September 15, 2016

      Indeed there were “extraordinary level of propaganda the Leavers had to overcome in winning the Referendum”. The constant drip drip drip from the BBC perhaps being the most damaging. Just as they do to on the non existent gender pay “discrimination” and the climate alarmism & renewables agenda.

      Why are people like the dreadful discredited IHT ratter Osborne and wrong every time Carney still hanging around? At least Cameron has done the decent thing and gone, after his hugely “sloped pitch” referendum.

    4. behindthefrogs
      September 15, 2016

      Weren’t the leavers making huge promises about the large amount of money that would be made available to the NHS. Even to the extent of publishing it on their battle bus.
      They seem to be backing down from this promise now.
      Both sides were equally dishonest leading to huge worries about what the result of the referendum would have been if they had all told the truth. What we want is honest politicians.

      Reply I said we will have £10bn net extra to spend each year and so we will as soon as we are out.

      1. bratwurst
        September 15, 2016

        No, we won’t have £10bn extra to spend. Most of it will continue to be committed to our ongoing relationship with Europe

        1. James Matthews
          September 15, 2016

          Detail Please. Committed to what specifically?

          1. bratwurst
            September 16, 2016

            LEAVE ALLIANCE : Brexit Monograph 3 – Financial contributions after Brexit


      2. acorn
        September 15, 2016

        Wow”, that a whole 0.5% of UK GDP. Multiply that by three and spend it on the NHS and we will be approaching what France and Germany spend on health services.

      3. forthurst
        September 15, 2016

        Unfortunately, not only did the twerps running Vote Leave avoid discussing controlling our borders, initially, but they even took it upon themselves to attack UKIP whose perceived electoral pressure had led to the Referendum in the first place, which is why they told a whopper about the extra cash available to fund the NHS instead (on account of it being non-racist, an’ all). It was only when this strategy began to crash and burn did they then hypocritically start talking about border control. Needless to say Tories and Labour campaigning for Brexit were extremely thin on the ground to non-existant, certainly in my area.

  4. Jerry
    September 15, 2016

    Trouble is John, we have not had Brexit yet, and as businesses and investors realised this the status quo largely recovered after an initial plunge. Come back after actual Brexit, or at least once we know the actual terms of Brexit, then by all means gloat (or cry) at how Brexit has turned out.

    1. Anonymous
      September 15, 2016

      No Jerry. We were told that the day after a Brexit vote an emergency budget would be introduced and the economy would collapse.

      Despite Newmaniac hysteria from the BBC – and many other quarters – not just talking but SCREAMING the economy down, the collapse has not happened.

      I think you’ve missed the point of John’s post.

      1. Anonymous
        September 15, 2016

        Also, Jerry, I’d like to bring an answer I gave to you in a recent thread in which you suggested that The Three Brexiteers are doing little because they now realise the impossibility of Brexit.

        I said, to this effect:

        – 2/3rds of the Commons voted for the 2015 Referendum Act, knowing that the result could be Leave

        – the Lords passed the 2015 Referendum Act, knowing that the result could be Leave

        – the Queen gave Royal Assent to the Referendum Act, knowing that the result could be Leave

        All were given expert advice throughout.

        So why have a referendum it the wrong result would be too difficult to implement ?

        The fact is that it isn’t too difficult to implement.

        My belief is that we are not leaving the EU because our own elite is resistant to it – as Herr Junker says, the problem with our EU rebellion has been because British politicians have lied to their own people over it time and again. This is what The Three find themselves up against.

        In view of the forgoing – why only a minority working towards Brexit ? Anyone who voted for the Referendum Act should be honouring their promise by working towards it – or by leaving politics if they can’t stand it.

        So stop being sneery and negative, Jerry. Get with the very democratically demanded programme.

        1. Jerry
          September 17, 2016

          @Anonymous; “Get with the very democratically demanded programme.”

          Fine, so lets have the Swiss style of direct democracy rather than our current system of electing and then allowing MPs and the government to run the countries affairs (along with the professional civil service) after all pre-referendum many on this site were all for such a style of direct democracy.

          The people have so far given their democratic opinion to the “If question” and that was to leave the EU, but surely now we need to be asked via referenda the How and When we wish to leave the EU questions, or there needs to be a full GE with Brexit timetables (or not…) etc. set out in the party manifestos – and that GE be conducted under a PR system, with perhaps compulsory voting too.

          Trouble is, whilst those who want Brexit might well have won the argument in principle, and our current government has accepted it and have pledged to proceed, would the very democratically decided detail obtained via referenda or change in government be acceptable to those who are so desperate for Brexit, why do I get the feeling that it would it all just descend into same sort of democratic farce that Europhobes rightly criticised the EU for when eurocrats demanded that countries like Ireland vote again and again until the ‘correct’ answer was given. Direct democracy is great, just so long as one wins…

    2. James Matthews
      September 15, 2016

      Nope. There were enough predictions of disaster in the short term (remember that emergency budget?) to warrant a fair bit of gloating now. More importantly though, they undermine the credibility of predictions from the same sources of longer-term problems.
      A bit like all those people who forecast the end of the world on a given day, then tell us, the day after, that a minor arithmetical error in their calculations was responsible, and ask the gullible to believe their revised prediction.

    3. Jerry
      September 16, 2016

      @Anonymous; @James Matthews; Ignoring that cliff face of a drop that both the FX and Stock Markets suffered from about 4am GMT on the morning of the 24th June (yes both recovered, because investors realised that actual Brexit is still two years away, not necessarily because there are no worries), I seem to recall seeing a prediction on the side of a Brexit campaign bus that said £350m per day would be pumped into the NHS after “Brexit”, not happened yet has it? Of course there is time for the Brexiteers to honer their campaign predictions just as there is sill time for those predictions of the Remain campaign once Brexit actually happens. Stop trying to cherry pick and use word play, the fact is, we will not know the realities of Brexit until Brexit has really occurred.

      1. Edward2
        September 16, 2016

        Even you agree they have recovered within a few days
        Silly therefore to call it a cliff face drop.

        Regarding the 350 million surely you realise no saving of the billions sent to the EU has yet happened
        So why do you call for an immediate extra amount to be paid to the NHS?

        You need to consider the sense of your posts Jerry

        1. Jerry
          September 17, 2016

          @Edward2; You seem to want it both ways, Brexit has happened and all is good and dandy because the markets have recovered, but the NHS can’t have the extra £350m (sort of promised by Vote Leave) because Brexit hasn’t happened yet – you make my point for me!

          You need to actually read what people say, or just read all what people say, before clicking on the ‘Post comment’ icon.

          1. Edward2
            September 17, 2016

            What are you waffling about Jerry
            I read what you say thanks.
            Brexit has not yet happened yet, which you keep telling us
            Then you say where is the 350 million for the NHS
            When I point out we are still paying money to the EU so there is no saving yet you then say I am wrong
            Jerry seriously you need to have a think through your logic

          2. Jerry
            September 18, 2016

            @Edward2; What are you waffling about, as you would put it Edward -apart from contradicting your last 30 comments about Brexit having happened and that everything has recovered post Brexit and all is now hunky-dory in Brexit-land. Then you have the nerve to tell me that I need to rethink my logic process, talk about filthy pots and pans!

            Just what was so difficult for you to understand when I said, in reply to @James and @Anonymous, above;

            Of course there is time for the Brexiteers to honer their campaign predictions just as there is sill time for those predictions of the Remain campaign once Brexit actually happens.

            Once again Edward all you have proved is that you either do not read what others say or you do but fail to understand what has been said and then try and argue.

            Have the last word here if you wish, I will not be wasting any more of our hosts time on this particular part of the debate.

  5. Lifelogic
    September 15, 2016

    It is reported that Hinckley will now go ahead, so Theresa has made her first very big mistake on the big decisions. It is clearly the wrong nuclear project and far too expensive. Hopefully she will at least kill HS2 and get on with Heathwick.

  6. Richard1
    September 15, 2016

    Well they were certainly right on the hit to £ which is down nearly 10% overall. Partly of course this is a result of the BoEs own policy. But we are all poorer as a result and we should presumably expect higher inflation. I don’t see any good in this.

  7. Lifelogic
    September 15, 2016

    There is, of course, nothing wrong with experts, providing they are real experts and are honest and right. Government experts however are usually just people who give the government what they want to hear. That way they usually get another job next time.

    Some experts even think Hinckley C and HS2 make sense, rather proving my point.

    1. Beecee
      September 15, 2016

      They are called focus groups and/or consultants.

      It takes (an old) one to know one!

  8. Lifelogic
    September 15, 2016

    Wrong again indeed, we have become rather accustomed to this. When will Carney, Osborne and these failed people and propagandists leave?

  9. Roy Grainger
    September 15, 2016

    The Remainiacs will be like the global warming enthusiasts: any problem in the economy at any time in the future will be ascribed to Brexit just as and spell of bad (or good) weather is ascribed to man-made global warming/climate change/climate disruption.

  10. Ian Wragg
    September 15, 2016

    Just been reading that TM is about to sign off Hinckley Point. There is noise that 25000 jobs will be created
    How many will be foreigners. I worked for a French company and they invariably used French labour or much cheaper Spanish welders.
    Useless technology,Chinese money and a ludicrously high strike price. There is a good article on the Roger Helmer blog as to how we are investing in crap expensive power generation whilst the rest of the world is cashing in on cheap fossil fuels.
    Same s–the different day.

  11. Anonymous
    September 15, 2016

    If it’s bad news it is because of Brexit. If it’s good news it’s in spite of Brexit.

    1. Anonymous
      September 15, 2016

      The effects of full Brexit on the City is a worry but so is staying in the EU.

  12. They Work for Us?
    September 15, 2016

    We appear once again to have two different perceptions of Brexit.
    We are leaving, we will not accept free movement and we will not pay in to the EU to trade.
    Now do you wish to trade or shall we have EU made cars stacking up on the continent decorated by the Continents agricultural produce?
    Brexit means you have to leave according to EU laws with immense red tape, delay and obfuscation which will involve free movement, payment into the EU.

    What does negotiation mean except to succumb to EU red tape, delay, freedom of movement and paying in to the EU and prolonged obfuscation to deceive the electorate.
    Is Theresa May up to this or is it her policy to appear to be firm while quietly caving in to business as usual? The Brexit electorate will not forgive and forget in 2020. We are all watching to see what actually happens with BBC reform, HS2 and Heathwick.

  13. Antisthenes
    September 15, 2016

    Any casual observation will come to the conclusion that when the majority of experts, pundits and the general public agree on an outcome seldom will it be correct. The Brexit doomsayers proved that without any shred of doubt. Electing left wing or far right political parties into office is another example of many that proves that point. The vote to leave and electing a majority Conservative government are the rare examples when the majority of some sections of society at least got it right. They did so often for the wrong reasons but got the correct outcome anyway. I believe the reason is because of closed minds, bias/prejudice and self interest.

    This phenomena is dangerous as we often base our policies and actions on things that the majority predict or want. So it can be said that democracy is not a system best suited to societies needs yet all other systems are considerably worse. Democracy does work perfectly under one condition and that is in a non manipulated free market. Where all opinions and predictions combine to always give the right outcome. This tells us that government, experts and pundits are the ones who should have the least influence on our lives.

  14. Malcolm Lidierth
    September 15, 2016

    How certain would the UK’s future be with continued membership of the EU?
    We have the prospects of (among others): Low growth, Deflation, Italian banks collapse, Euro collapse, EU taxes on member states, Expansion (including Turkey), Federalisation.
    The picture within the EU is not exactly rosy.

  15. Ed Mahony
    September 15, 2016

    ‘Yesterday saw more good economic news’

    – But some have described this period as the ‘phoney war’ (such as Ambrose Evans-Pritchard from the Daily Telegraph in regards to Japan’s sober response to / warning about Brexit) or the ‘calm before the storm.’
    Perhaps there will be no war or storm. Or perhaps not until leading Brexiteers in government can present a detailed plan of the way forward and the unity and leadership to implement that. With respect, you need to focus on that (including a response to Japan’s sober warning to / warning about Brexit which as far as I can see, you and leading Brexiteers have failed to respond to in any detail) and not the short-term economic situation which could be extremely misleading regarding the long-term economic results of Brexit (without a firm plan / leadership in government).

    1. Anonymous
      September 15, 2016

      “Or perhaps not until leading Brexiteers in government can present a detailed plan of the way forward”

      This plan shouldn’t merely be down to the Brexiteers in government.

      It should be down to everyone who voted for the EU Referendum Act in the Commons, Lords and those advisors to the Queen who gave Royal Assent.

      Whether they agree with the result or not it is their duty to honour and see that the result is implemented as successfully as possible.

      Otherwise they ought to have voted against a referendum.

  16. Lifelogic
    September 15, 2016

    It should be obvious to anyone sensible that Hinkley C is a totally absurd project. It forces hugely over priced electricity onto the UK for many years to come. It is totally the wrong nuclear project, similar systems have had huge problems and anyway cheap flexible gas is the clearly way to go currently. Gas not and take our time to get a far better nuclear option later if needed.

    How on earth can Greg Clark and Mrs May come to such a bonkers conclusion? Especially when it is very clear from measurement that the “climate alarmist” agenda has been so hugely over done.

    Surely any numerate and logical Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy needs to be able to see this? If they cannot, then they are surely totally unsuitable for the position they hold.

    1. Lifelogic
      September 15, 2016

      On HS2 I have yet to meet anyone at all in favour of the project (outside the vested interest groups).

  17. Bob Dixon
    September 15, 2016

    When does Carney get his P45?

  18. Excalibur
    September 15, 2016

    Which poses the question, JR, why the Treasury, the Bank of England, the IMF and OECD et al should be so heavily invested in Brexit’s failure ? What is the agenda ? Why should the United Kingdom, which still has a profound influence throughout the world, be incapable of determining its own future outside of the European Union ?

    Why too, do SKY, ITV and the BBC continue to propagate the political dogma of the Remain campaign despite the referendum and all the evidence ?

    1. acorn
      September 15, 2016

      Simply because Brexit, will hit rich people disproportionately more than poor people. Brexit, was a vote against technocracy and being ignored by politicians who only care about corporations.

      1. Denis Cooper
        September 16, 2016

        I think there’s more to it than that. If over a period of time career prospects tend to be harmed by the open expression of certain views then gradually an ingrained, top-down, “institutional” bias against those views will emerge in the organisation. As at least one person in the BBC has admitted, they cannot help themselves; the whole ethos of the organisation is in favour not just of the EU project but of mass immigration, multiculturalism, internationalism and political correctness. That ethos having developed over decades it will take decades to change, unless of course there is a major purge.

  19. oldtimer
    September 15, 2016

    What the forecasters really need to watch out for are the foreshadowed disagreements between the EU Commission (and possibly EU Parliament) and the member states over the final settlement of the Brexit departure terms. Meantime the UK needs to progress trade agreements elsewhere both as a hedge and to strengthen it’s negotiating position.

    No doubt there will be some changes and readjustments needed. But in the world of business it was ever thus.

  20. Chris
    September 15, 2016

    Slightly O/T, but have found Brexit Central daily newsletter by Jonathan Isaby excellent. See website for details.

  21. Bert Young
    September 15, 2016

    The Fed rate is certainly causing more uncertainty and trouble than Brexit ; what happens in the USA always has a knock-on effect in the world’s economy . Stock markets in particular are wavering around showing lack of direction ; investors prefer a belts and braces enviroment .

    Until the Article 50 letter is sent the conjecture on both sides of the Channel will continue with threats and position taking , the delay is irksome , so , the sooner the letter goes the better . The EUs’ appointments leading its position of retaliation are in themselves , a red flag signalling a stance to try to humble our approach , I hope we will not be put off by this . We do start with the strongest case `very much aided and abetted by the growing dissent across Europe .

    The decision has now been made on Hinkley – presumably on the same terms as agreed before . Whether this signals a climbing down on our part I don’t know ; of one thing I am sure , it will be publicised as such . I see it as a slap in the face to our own scientific capability . It was a marvellous opportunity to re-establish our belief in our leading edge science and keep us out of the hands of outside influences .

  22. Jack
    September 15, 2016

    4.9% unemployment rate is still high, and 2% annual GDP growth isn’t considered great. So, as before the referendum, we continue living way below our means and wasting trillions of pounds worth of potential GDP.

    The budget deficit should be over 10% of GDP, at least for the next few years. After that, maybe lower it to something like 5,6,7 or 8% of GDP depending on how inflation is doing. We can do this right now, now we’ve voted for Brexit I doubt the EU is going to be breathing down our necks to maintain the 3% deficit limit as per the SGP.

    Let’s aim high and try and beat China’s 15% annual GDP growth. Even if we don’t, we still have the real resources available to grow far faster than we are currently.

  23. fedupsoutherner
    September 15, 2016

    John, you say, ” Before the referendum campaign Remain advocates told us the uncertainty generated by the referendum vote would hit our economy”

    Well, the referendum campaign might not affect the economy but this might.


  24. Caterpillar
    September 15, 2016

    Perhaps the UK economy continues to progress due to the skill, judgement and effectiveness of the Bank of England’s post-referendum interventions? Presumably the BoE will be well prepared for the consequences of A50 – perhaps all the way to ZIRP and some helicopter money just in case.

    (I’ll feel more Popsicle once the BoE starts to unwind its position.)

  25. stred
    September 15, 2016

    The fall in the pound could be partly due to the very large expenditure on foreign owned energy projects. Offshore wind farms are approved and are now starting to be built. Before he was booted out and knighted, Ed Davey gave an order to Danish Dong and agreed a price of £140/MWh. Now we read that the Danish government is having doubts about building another project, even though they have been offered a price half of Ed’s.

    The ex Libdum Industry minister announced that the £92.50/MWh +inflation deal with the French and Chinese is on again, even though their own version at Flamainville is costed at around 60% our bargain. But it’s ok because HMG may be able to stop the owners flogging their gold mine to some other company that may be a bit dodgy regarding security. Total tosh of course. The Finns must be amazed after their experience with the EPR.

    It appears we have Carry on Bungling, even though Dave has slipped away and avoided having to explain his non too successful adventure in Libya.

    I see the Decchead’s smart grid is under pressure currently, with prices rising to record highs and supply down to marginal. Thank goodness we have all those expensive diesel geneneators ready to switch on.


  26. stred
    September 15, 2016

    The Danes are making big money from UK offshore, while thinking of turning down a half price offer in their own waters.


    1. f
      September 15, 2016

      Still intermittent though and need to be turned off when there is too much power available. Then the costs are massive. Have to say though that off shore is preferable to onshore for obvious reasons.

  27. Graham
    September 15, 2016

    Great that things are still ‘onside’ but for goodness sake let’s look as if we are even intending to leave!!!!

    It still concerns me greatly that we still have no official statement (or an outline of one) strengthening the path to leaving. Meanwhile the establishment Remainers are still, I think, burrowing away that this PM open uncertainty.

    Please inform properly rather than leaked titbits which don’t help.

  28. Denis Cooper
    September 15, 2016

    “Surely markets have discounted the sending of the letter by now, as the government has made clear it does intend to implement the views of the people, just as the previous government made it clear it was the duty of Parliament and government to carry out the decision of the voters.”

    I don’t know what the markets may be thinking about this, but what I’m thinking is that although the government repeatedly stated its intention to implement a vote to leave the EU by putting in the Article 50 notice it did not actually put that on the face of the Bill for the referendum.

    Which was pointed out on May 14th 2013 when it first appeared as a Tory draft:


    “Tory draft Bill does not mandate any change”

    “Not for Guido to suggest that it might have been drawn up on the back of a fag packet in about half an hour, but there is one very interesting omission in the Tory EU draft Bill; there is no clause to actually mandate the government to do anything following the outcome of the plebiscite. The AV Bill had a section saying the the government must bring forward legislation if there were more yes votes:

    8 Commencement or repeal of amending provisions

    (1) The Minister must make an order bringing into force section 9, Schedule 10 and Part 1 of Schedule 12 (“the alternative vote provisions”) if —

    (a) more votes are cast in the referendum in favour of the answer “Yes” than in favour of the answer “No”

    This Bill has nothing. Heaven forbid a vote on the EU goes the wrong way, and they need to hold another one … ”

    Which I then repeatedly pointed out here for the Bill when it was Wharton’s Bill in 2013, and when it was Neill’s Bill in 2014, and when it was the government’s European Union Referendum Bill in 2015, usually in this general form:

    “The Bill does not state what would ensue from a vote to leave the EU”.

    And I’m also thinking it’s now pretty obvious this loophole was deliberately inserted by the Cameron government to allow a “wrong” result to be overturned.

    And what did we have yesterday in the Commons?


    “Charlie Elphicke (Dover) (Con)

    I beg to move,

    That leave be given to bring in a bill to implement the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from membership of the European Union; and for connected purposes … ”

    “The House divided: Ayes: 50 Noes: 179”

    Reply yes, opposition parties voted it down I voted in favour

  29. Ed Mahony
    September 15, 2016

    BTW, many Brexiteers claim the moral high ground of being the real patriots (whatever that really means). If Brexit backfires, it will put this country in economic decline for years with unintended consequences, with perhaps having to return to the EU and on their terms. As a historian, I’ve seen many, many times the unintended consequences of what people think is the most ‘patriotic’ course to take, but it actually backfires in the long run, turning out to be the opposite.
    Best for our country – i’m more and more certain – is for us to remain in the EU whilst trying to reform it, in particular regarding immigration (which is what most people clearly voted for in Brexit). What is certainly not best for our country is to have a radical plan to leave the EU without any detailed government plan how to do + a lack of unity and leadership to implement it. Until we get this detailed, government plan with real unity and leadership behind it then Brexit remains a project based on wishful thinking (and a sort of South Sea Bubble in the making, although potentially worse / far worse).

    1. Michael Wood
      September 15, 2016

      Trying is the right word, but you won’t succeed!

      1. Ed Mahony
        September 16, 2016

        ‘Trying is the right word, but you won’t succeed!’

        – Who would have thought Churchill in the 1930’s would succeed in becoming Tory leader and PM, and then going on to play a key role in helping to defeat the Nazis. In other words, far greater things have been achieved in history than the challenge of reforming the EU.

        (And it was precisely Churchill who was one of the key advocates of closer union within Europe – for peace, prosperity and security).

        Reply But he did not want the UK to join

        1. Ed Mahony
          September 16, 2016

          ‘We must aim at nothing less than the Union of Europe as a whole, and we look forward with confidence to the day when the Union will be achieved’ – Winston Churchill 1948

          (I’m not a supporter of a United States of Europe but of a reformed EU with the UK at the heart of it, controlling policy like Churchill would have tried – and succeeded – in doing. Churchill only knew too well how stupid countries can be – leading to world war – as well as one’s own politicians, look at politicians in Germany at the time, and look at politicians in the UK at the time who tried to stop Churchill from being leader in 1940).

          No doubt, Churchill now would have been fighting for a reformed EU.

          1. Edward2
            September 16, 2016

            The EU will never reform
            It has a plan

    2. Graham
      September 15, 2016

      As an historian how would you compare the USSR with EUSSR? Surely your ‘training” would highlight all the negatives – would be interested to hear your views.

      Meanwhile historians like yourself would in decades hence would say “if only we had been able to reform the EU things would be fine”

      Meanwhile EU army anyone – this will become another locked in loss of control to an unelected bureaucrats

      1. Mitchel
        September 16, 2016

        Yes,Ed Mahoney,you may be interested in history,as many of us on this board are,but would you care to inform us what qualifies you to call yourself a historian?

        Regardless of qualifications,I’d be happy to nominate you for the position of Komissar for Enlightenment.

    3. Anonymous
      September 15, 2016

      Ed M – I think it worth repeating myself:

      – 2/3rds of the Commons voted for the 2015 Referendum Act, knowing that the result could be Leave

      – the Lords passed the 2015 Referendum Act, knowing that the result could be Leave

      – the Queen gave Royal Assent to the Referendum Act, knowing that the result could be Leave

      All were given expert advice throughout.

      So why have a referendum it the wrong result would be too difficult to implement ?

      The fact is that it isn’t too difficult to implement and it is a travesty that there is no government plan nor that every person who voted for the Referendum Act or in some way helped it through is not getting behind it to make it work – despite the fact that it may not be what they wanted.

      Doing what one does not like in support of the democratic will of fellow countrymen is what a true patriot does – and for twenty odd years of Blairism (which I loath) I have been doing exactly that.

      Now can I have my turn at being supported please ?

    4. Denis Cooper
      September 16, 2016

      Best for our country is for the government to bloody well do what it promised the people it would do, and not allow lazy and inattentive parliamentarians to get in the way. They had their chances to assert a claim to control the service of an Article 50 notice, arguably over thirteen years since the substance of that article first appeared in the EU Constitution, but they couldn’t be bothered.

      I watched the Labour MP Mike Gapes bringing up the recent report from a Lords committee saying that Parliament must decide whether or not we leave the EU, and remembered the avalanche of amendments that he had tabled during the passage of the Bill in 2015. Did any of those many amendments attempt to ensure that in the event of a popular vote to leave the EU the government would not put in the Article 50 notice without any further reference to Parliament, which it had clearly stated as being its intention? No, I don’t think so.

      And in particular the government must not allow lazy, inattentive and unelected legislators-for-life in the Lords to frustrate the will of the people as directly expressed in the referendum, it would be better to shut the place down.

      To be clear this is not another episode in the perennial historical contest between Parliament and government, as some are attempting to portray it even though in truth most of them couldn’t care less about the sovereignty of Parliament, instead this is a conflict between some of the present parliamentarians and the ordinary people that Parliament is supposed to represent.

  30. Ed Mahony
    September 15, 2016

    If it hadn’t been for the pressure of Brexit (time, thought and energy that needs to go into it, something so complicated and tricky), do you think Mrs May would have given the green light to Hinkley Point? I doubt it. Hinkley Point could turn out to be the first major bad decision the PM has had to make because of the pressure of Brexit (you could also argue that grammar schools – in which I’m in favour of – is a bad idea right now as Mrs May doesn’t really have the time, space and energy to implement this properly right now) (and you can also argue that the loss of ARM to the Japanese technology company was down to Brexit putting pressure on Sterling which made the take-over much more likely). The real costs of Brexit so far: Hinkley Point, ARM, and possibly trying to implement grammar schools right now. (And we haven’t even signed Article 50 yet, and Japanese have given us a sober warning of hard Breixt). (And we still have no real Brexit plan from government yet).

    1. Anonymous
      September 15, 2016

      “(you could also argue that grammar schools – in which I’m in favour of – is a bad idea right now as Mrs May doesn’t really have the time, space and energy to implement this properly right now)”

      No. That’s the whole point of it. It can’t be done because of lack of time, space and energy. And nor can Brexit because “Oh. We’re so up to our necks in trying to be Conservative that we can’t actually do anything at all.”

      Therefore a lot of efforts which look Conservative but are being deliberately introduced to hamper everything that actually IS Conservative – especially Brexit.

      It may seem that Mrs May can never satisfy me.

      Well we’re not leaving the EU. Mark my words.

  31. rose
    September 15, 2016

    Yes, it is all looking as good as it could be. I do often worry though about who the one and a half million are who can’t find work, and why. It is just half the number that was held to be unacceptable under Margaret Thatcher.

    Whcih reminds me, this Prime Minister who has aspired and conspired to be a second MT all her political life, is looking weak. At the HO she came to understand that we needed to leave the EU. What Home Secretary would not notice that, even a token woman? But she didn’t have the guts or the patriotism to stand up with the others and say so. She worked out all by herself that we needed to dissociate ourselves from the ECHR and even said so. Then she funked that. She or her kitchen cabinet of 17 worked out Hinkley was a bad deal. Now she has funked that. This means there is no chance of a modern airport in the Thames estuary.

    1. stred
      September 15, 2016

      A funky chicken, or perhaps broiler.

    September 15, 2016

    Off Topic:
    The Rt Hon Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport is speaking in Parliament as I type and says: ” …the BBC is a national asset…”. I’ve been thumbing through as it were, online, my list of banana republics to find the nation to which she refers. No luck so far. Even Google isn’t perfect.

    1. James Munroe
      September 15, 2016

      Maybe she was thinking of that great BBC national asset – The BBC Pension Fund.

      There is money in the Fund, so you could call it an asset, in suppose…but unfortunately, the size of their Pension Fund ‘asset’ is grossly underfunded.

      But fear not, the good old TV License fee payer is committed to paying off the deficit, because our generous Government said that was OK.

      Suggestions that BBC employees should pay more pension contributions, were previously ruled out…because the BBC may go on strike! Heaven forbid!

      And there I was, working in my previous companies, stumping up extra pension contributions, thinking that was what everybody did…

      Apparently not, at the Beeb!

      Having looked at their pensions’ information in the past, I have often wondered if the BBC is merely one grand pension scheme, that occasionally becomes distracted into making decent television programmes…

    2. Lifelogic
      September 15, 2016

      Well perhaps, if you think something that drips the nation in lefty, green crap, PC and scientific drivel, pro EU propaganda, magic money tree economics and the politics on envy as an asset. This in between dross programs and the odd repeat of Dads Army and Yes Minister. They distort the whole of politics in the UK to the left causing huge damage to politics, the economy and the nation.

      Just now regarding Hinkley C they frame the discussion as “how to produce energy in a low carbon World” and then go on to say the main concern is that the Chinese are involved with security implications. Also that if we cancelled the “investment” it would cost X thousand jobs.

      Clearly the BBC just do not understand anything. It is not a good investment to buy energy at way over the going rate for years to come, to do so actually destroys jobs and certainly does not creates them net.

      Anyway the reactor proposed is not the right one and has very many serious problems known problems. The tax payer, businesses and consumer have to pick up the huge energy bills and this renders them far less competitive, killing other far better investments.

      The solution is the currently very cheap gas and coal short term, fracking and a much better nuclear project a bit later.

      Theresa May has flunked her first big decision. Let us hope she at least kills HS2 which is even more of a basket case than Hinkley. It does not bode well. It was so blindingly obvious that cancelling Hinkley was the thing to do.

      1. A different Simon
        September 16, 2016

        Agree with you re Hinkley Point .

        Absolutely nobody on the technical side seems to have any enthusiasm for this project – in fact they want to kill it but they have been overruled because ….

        It is a political project .

        Any contribution it may make to the grid is entirely incidental .

        There must be safer ways of proving our loyalty and subordinating ourselves to the Chinese .

    September 15, 2016

    Re: the Remainers

    There was never any assessment/analysis, meaningful or not, of the impact on EU nation states of a downturn in jobs in the Remainer’s heralded forecasts for post-Brexit. Just post-Referendum vote Panic-Speeches in Parliament by MPs who should be older.

    They said there would be queues of a million exiting Poles awaiting transport from Dover to Warsaw. Also , just a couple of Romanians and Bulgarians ( as they have always denied people from those countries actually work here in greater numbers than are needed to pick a row of carrots in Lincolnshire and how we should all be grateful.

  34. Iain Gill
    September 15, 2016

    Correct there are no job losses from leave. But there continue to be lots of job losses from size of the immigration we are under. And large use of intra company transfer visas and indefinite leave visas to admit mainly Indian nationals in the information technology business, the people they displace often retire earlier than they would like, go back to education, live off their capital rather than sign on, and so on and do not show up in the unemployment figures in the dramatic numbers that are happening in practise.

  35. Roy Grainger
    September 15, 2016

    I see today Mr Carney is signalling he will cut interest rates even further later in the year because he predicts growth will stall. Is he ever going to stop talking down the economy ?

    1. Lifelogic
      September 15, 2016

      It seems not.

  36. Mitchel
    September 15, 2016

    So why,then,is the BoE hinting at a further rate cut in November?

    1. Bob
      September 15, 2016


      “why,then,is the BoE hinting at a further rate cut in November?”

      It may be that the BoE has become politicised.

  37. Ronald Olden
    September 15, 2016

    I’m more concerned about the way the Bank of England is behaving than I am about Brexit. The doom and gloom Remainiacs are long since discredited.

    Today the Bank of England again completely unnecessarily told the World that interest rates night be cut again. The Governor of the Bank of England’s signalling an interest rates has been abysmal.

    Not so long ago he told us that rates might rise if unemployment fell below 7%. This was a comment which would gave dishonoured a GSCE Economics pupil. Unemployment duly fell to below 5% and far from raising interest rates the Bank of England cut them.

    We have now had a momentary stimulus of near epic proportions from a big devaluation, an interest rate cut to near zero and a large quantitative easing announcement. And that against a background of continuing falling unemployment. Yet the Governor is talking about a further cut.

    This Governor is incapable of doing the job he is paid to do. He should be demoted to some regulatory role in the Bank and a new Governor who some understanding of monetary policy appointed.

  38. Denis Cooper
    September 15, 2016

    Here is an interesting article which has come my way:


    “Germany Discovers Some Home Truths About Brexit”

    “Berlin is starting to admit that it needs Britain more than Merkel first let on.”

    “… the passage of time is revealing how weak Germany’s and the EU’s negotiating position actually is.”

    “Yet even these figures understate Germany’s economic dependence on Britain. Around 36% of Germany’s total exports in 2015 went to countries within the eurozone. However, under the so-called Target2 payments system operated by the ECB, Germany’s balance-of-payments surplus with the eurozone is financed not by the transfer of foreign-currency reserves, gold or other near-liquid assets, but by an open-ended overdraft facility granted by the Bundesbank.”

    “That Germany is moderately prosperous at all under this system is owed in large measure to its trade surplus with partners outside the eurozone. This surplus is paid for in the traditional way, by transferring actual money to Germany. Germany and other export-driven eurozone economies thus depend on trade with Britain as a key partner outside the dysfunctional eurozone much more than is commonly realized.”

    “ECB President Mario Draghi is well aware of the EU’s fragility. According to ECB and Italian political sources, he has assured investment banks, including Goldman Sachs, that Germany won’t do anything to put trade relations at risk. Mr. Draghi has also reportedly expressed confidence that French and European Commission resistance to concessions to Britain could be overcome … ”

    I don’t know how much of this is true, but as a general proposition it does seem unlikely that Germany (and others) could just shrug off a major drop in exports to the UK.

  39. oldtimer
    September 15, 2016

    Not entirely OT is this article from Spiegel Online on the cost of Brexit to the EU:

    If the article is to believed, some in Brussels are not too well prepared. Some seem to think that preservation of freedom of movement will still be possible plus a continued UK contribution to the EU budget. It also draws attention to the impact Brexit will have on the EU Investment Bank. So while the EU is still waiting for the UK to invoke Article 50, the UK might find itself waiting some time for a coherent and agreed response from the EU.

    September 15, 2016

    In view of Bank of England’s Mr Carney’s gloomy outlook for the UK it may be economical to buy him his airline ticket home now, in advance to Toronto, Quebec, or Vancouver while low prices persist. We don’t want him to have to work his passage home serving drinks or something on a Tramp Steamer or at worst on state-of-the-art…..elastic band wind-up planes.

  41. A different Simon
    September 15, 2016

    So despite all the reservations , Mrs May wants to go ahead with the wrong type of reactor for Hinkley .

    Shouldn’t management of our electricity grid be considered a matter of national security ?

    Are there any limits to what Westminster will do to please the Chinese ?

    Time to start taking iodine pills in readiness for the next Chernobyl .

    1. A different Simon
      September 15, 2016

      What more could the reactor designers in China and France have said or done to stop this going ahead ?

      Is nobody in a position of power capable of reading between the lines ?

  42. Dunedin
    September 15, 2016

    The Telegraph’s “Alex” helpfully provides us with a new word for blaming everything on Brexit…


    Cartoon for 5 September

  43. McRobbie
    September 15, 2016

    I constantly read how the EU bureaucrats talk about how it will take many many years of negotiations before we can leave the EU. But Surely its far easier than that..we leave and sort out the rampaging regulations forced on us by eurocrats in our own time. The so called single market works both ways so if the EU want to put tariffs on our goods then we put tariffs on theirs and as we operate a surplus of EU exports to us over our exports to the EU we will have the best of the tariff exchange. The WTO is available and we are already a member so the UK will be treated no differently from other member states.
    Is this not typical of the pomposity and deception of the eurocrats..they want to make it seem complicated and that suits our fundamentally remain minded civil servants.

    1. Denis Cooper
      September 16, 2016

      A bit of both, I think. We get a basic agreement sorted out before we leave, and then sort out less important matters over a long period after we have left. So the trick will be to identify all the matters which must be agreed before we leave so there will be minimum disruption, with a seamless transition, and separate them from the less important or even trivial matters which can wait.

    2. rose
      September 16, 2016

      “and that suits our fundamentally remain minded civil servants”
      and lawyers.

  44. Newmania
    September 15, 2016

    Remains’ subject was being out of the EU, not thinking about how bad it might be later.
    Aside from the pound dropping and market turbulence Carneys swift moves to stabilise the currency, pump in money, call off the dreaded interest rate rises ,have, not surprisingly , raised demand. The end of “austerity” i.e. the acceptance of higher debt is also a “good“ thing if you think borrowing always good , saving always bad and pensions expendable.
    Whether he has managed to encourage normal investment levels ,we shall wait to see , next year’s projections remain justifiably cautious .We continue to benefit from inward migration form the EU , probably at an increased rate ,a solid case of growth and benign conditions in particular ultra-low energy costs .The cost of the Brexit vote is that it used up all our slack. We will now hit the real thing without a safety net.
    Markets are not sources of wisdom like they frequently react late and violently to correct mistakes . When the high cost of exporting to the EU the catastrophic attack on the City of London ( see loss of passporting ) and the real problems of being out of the single market hit the markets will amplify it tenfold. That is the fear that even if the only the IFS estimate of a 5% loss of growth is right the knock on affect could make it even worse. The most significant news of the last two weeks was the stark warnings issued by trading partners of quite how weak we are and how much trouble we are in.
    Now let’s remind ourselves what this was all for …oh yes because those terrible Polish people are so dreadful , or something. ….. Trump Corbyn Brexit truly we live in the age of the moroReply The economy was string after the vote and before the Banks action.

  45. anon
    September 15, 2016

    Hmmm..How else could we funnel money to the EU for decades to come, without calling it an EU contribution or overseas aid?

    I cant see any reason to pursue this option at this cost with this unproven technology. The Chinese investment money can be invited and or deployed elsewhere.

    I fear this a large decision to get wrong for the UK national interest and for electricity users.

    Its plus point it may produce electricity, very expensively , maybe in a decades time.

    Who benefits?

  46. Jack Snell
    September 16, 2016

    John- The short term damage to the economy will start only after article 50 is activated and then the short to medium term damage will really to kick in and last possibly for another ten years?- that is a fact. What we have now is a time and period of reflection only and should be recognised as such. As the EU Europeans are not going to be in any helpful mood to do pre article 50 back channel talks with the UK there will be very little chance to see where we are going until maybe a few years from now and after article 50 is activated – It is unlikely that the EU leaders are going to go out of their way either before then to help us and because the EU itself is in such huge disarray at the moment and in great danger itself I don’t see how we can expect to get any accord or agreement whatsoever from the remaining 27 member states about ‘exiting’ in a smooth or agreeable way or about any new trade agreements for maybe many decades. We in this part of the world are indeed staring into the economic abyss and trying to talk the situation up is not going to help either- what is called for now is a good dollop of honesty and sensible and clear headed thinking. One of the biggest and most serious problems we have is that we have very few friends left in Europe and this is mainly because in the recent decades UK MEPs and UK politicians especially UKIP have continually hurled personal insults and abuse at European politicians and leaders across the EU and UK parliaments – is it any wonder we are in such danger of being consigned to the wilderness we have voted ourselves into? Surely its time now to grow up and recognise our true predicament and place in the world? and recognise that the Empire has long since gone.

    Reply Remain said the uncertainty of the vote would cause damage. It didnt. They then said an Out vote woukd cuase damage. It didnt. Nor will sending a letter. They do know we are leaving already!

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