Everywhere I went yesterday at conference people wanted to talk about Brexit. By far the best attended of the four meetings I did was the one about next steps for Brexit. Most delegates are pleased we are leaving and want us to get on with it.
There was some surprise that the Chancellor is still genuflecting to the absurd Treasury pessimism that was fashionable under his predecessor by using the word “turbulence”. I suspect it is just a matter of time. Even the Treasury will have to catch up with all the good news about the econony that has come in since June 23.The Chancellor himself was admirably clear about the need to leave the EU and the opportunities it presents. He also referred to the better figures he has seen since June 23rd. He may have to face unrealistically pessimistic forecasts for this year and next from the Treasury as well as those we have already seen from the Bank. Let us hope they have revised them up a bit from current Bank pessimism before he has to make a judgement at the Autumn Statement.
I look forward to the Treasury thinking it should be a force to encourage confidence and sticking to the facts. The Chancellor himself is wise to leave himself room for manoeuvre on the deficit figures. If the Office of Budget Responsibility comes up with very pessimistic figures for growth next year then the apparent deficit will be much larger from the lower tax revenues that implies. The Chancellor would be sensible to ignore it, as such forecasts are likely to prove wrong. The Bank has already had to raise its pessimistic forecast for Q3 this year in the light of the evidence that the economy continued to grow.