Why I am very positive about the UK economy post Brexit

As there is a concerted attempt to misrepresent my views on the prospects for the UK economy let me repeat why I am very positive about the UK post Brexit, as I have always said.

I see the UK as a great destination for inward investors and for domestic investors wishing to set up businesses, create jobs, build factories and new properties. Only a month ago I was  being criticised for daring to say we needed more realistic forecasts which would be more optimistic ones. My critics ignored the fact that I had disagreed with the Treasury and Bank of England view that the Brexit vote would plunge the UK into recession last winter and had been proved right by events.

It is those who cannot accept the resuit of the referendum who are being gloomy about UK prospects and constantly talking about businesses thinking of moving out. They have been wrong about commercial property and about the expansion plans of overseas investors in the UK

Brexit is full of opportunity for businesses already in the UK, for new businesses that can be set up in the UK, and for businesses thinking of investing from overseas. The UK has a large  balance of payments deficit which we can cut by making and growing more things for ourselves. The UK is very competitive at the current rate of exchange. Freed of the constraints of the EU agriculture and fishing policies we can start to reduce the huge deficit in food that we have built up with the EU over the years. The Common Fishing Policy has restricted the amount that can be landed by British vessels in UK ports. We could do better  by our fish and our fishermen with a UK fishing and conservation policy. Past quota policies damaged parts of our farming industry. A UK policy needs to include the promotion of more growing of our own food.

The swing lower  in the pound against the Euro both before and after the vote makes UK manufactured products like cars that much more competitive compared to EU imports, which should help our domestic industry. The UK is establishing  itself as a great centre for knowledge based industries in general, and for technology based companies in particular.Today there is an optimistic view of the prospects for the Oxford Cambridge corridor.

 

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49 Comments

  1. Duncan
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    I clearly recall Margaret Thatcher’s pro-market arguments during the 1980’s and how her pro-private sector policies where destroying the British economy. Such criticisms and challenges tended to emanate from the same section of people more interested in trying to weaken her politically rather than improving the economic competitiveness of the United Kingdom

    The same commentariat are at it again. They view the UK only in its political relationship with the EU. The UK’s economic future as an independent, sovereign nation is of little concern to them but they use the economic narrative to conceal their political dream of an all-powerful EU with the UK simply dismantled and demolished

    Your critics John would, I am sure, revel in a UK recession if such a scenario prevented the UK’s departure from the EU. They are a desperate, pathetic, highly political and genuinely hateful clique who do not reflect public opinion

    You must stand up and ram the pro-UK message home in the way Farage did and indeed continues to do so. Farage never faltered in his belief in the UK and his distrust of the anti-democratic nature of the EU. The almost visceral attacks upon him simply confirmed just how much of a political threat he was. Thatcher also and indeed you today

    The majority is anti-EU, pro-UK and the political commentariat based in London and the SE is not a reflection of the millions of people who voted Brexit and indeed the millions who voted Remain but now realise they were lied to about what would happen if they voted Leave.

    Project Fear perpetrated by your ex-leader and his pet Chancellor was a shameful period in British history. To think it was a Tory PM who backed such an exercise to deceive the British people is nothing short of criminal

    The British people want their country back, its democracy, its parliament, its rule of law, its borders but more than all of this they want the presence of the EU, in all its forms, booted out of the UK

    The EU is NOT Europe

    • John Soper
      Posted November 17, 2017 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      Mrs Thatcher’s pro-market policies in the 1980s were pro single market policies. She would be horrified at the way that people like Redwood have left the UK sidelined. I write as a Leave voter who now realises the UK cannot go it alone

      Reply We are not sidelined, we are regaining our vote and voice in global bodies like WTO where we have plenty of friends and partners.

      • DaveM
        Posted November 17, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

        JS.

        We never have “gone it alone”. We have always made alliances when necessary, and we have millions of true friends and allies around the world who treat us with far more respect, kindness, courtesy, and friendship than those people in Brussels who want nothing but to take, take, take from us.

        Ask yourself what the EU or indeed any European states have ever done for us. And PLEASE don’t say they are magnanimous by allowing us to buy stuff from them.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 17, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        Complete rubbish. Democracy and cooperation is the way to go. Rule by an anti-democratic EU was dreadful and was getting worse by the day.

        Brexit is full of opportunity for businesses as indeed is much of the World. It would however be far better if May and Hammond had some sensible, free market, low tax, cheap energy, easy hire and fire & bonfire of red tape, pro business and jobs vision.

        Currently they are just Corbyn light to be followed by Corbyn heavy, which rather puts business off expanding or investing. Let up hope at long last Hammond finally gets the message next week and follow Prof Patrick Minford’s very sensible agenda and red book.

        Personally I do not think he or indeed she is capable of a sensible positive vision but we shall see. Neither seem to have any Conservative bones in their bodies.

      • libertarian
        Posted November 17, 2017 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

        Soper

        You know nothing of business and trade, there is NO single market and never has been its a con that naive people like you fall for all the time. Mostly because you have no experience and no skin in the game. Give it a rest

      • NickC
        Posted November 17, 2017 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        John Soper, There are 196 nations in the world. Only 28 (soon 27) are in the EU. How do you reckon that the other 168 manage?

        • RodC
          Posted November 17, 2017 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

          NickC– the other 168 manage largely by struggling very hard. Think about it African countries, some Far Eastern countries like Vietnam Indonesia etc, also the south american countries- Is this what you’re advocating for Britain- that we should lower our standards to meet theirs under WTO?

        • Peter Davies
          Posted November 19, 2017 at 9:21 am | Permalink

          And only 15% of world gdp

      • hans chr iversen
        Posted November 17, 2017 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

        of course we will be sidelined as we now only represent a small market as oppose to more than 500 million

        • NickC
          Posted November 17, 2017 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

          Hans, Did that market of 500 million just disappear? I must have blinked.

    • hans chr iversen
      Posted November 17, 2017 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      we were all lied to whether remain or leave and as 27 other nations and 500 million people are not leaving the EU, they most feel that the EU is part of Europe

      • DaveM
        Posted November 17, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

        I’m quite bored with the whole “being lied to” argument. It reflects the idea – held by many politicians and by the pro-EU MSM – that we are unable to make up our own minds.

        Interesting, though, that many of those who support and love the EU are the ones who shout loudest about “being lied to” and yet swallow every single line spouted by Clegg, Carney, Corbyn, etc, without bothering to check the accuracy of the lines they produce.

        I personally, like millions of other UK citizens, voted to Leave because I don’t want my grandchildren to grow up in an undemocratic EU-controlled federal superstate. We are English; our state, culture, democracy and way of life has evolved and developed over the centuries because it is what suits us as a nation. It was not foisted upon us. The EU seeks to force upon us its own idea of how we should live, and 17.4 million people said they didn’t like it.

        And 500 million people don’t necessarily want to be part of the EU, but they won’t have the chance to say “no thanks” because their leaders are committed to giving up their own nations’ independent state governance.

      • ian wragg
        Posted November 17, 2017 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        What a deranged person you are, there are anti EU parties springing up in nearly every country.
        Riots is France an Belgium not reported.
        etc ed
        Stop pushing the Brussels line, no one is fooled.

        • hefner
          Posted November 17, 2017 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

          Riots in France? Last ones seem to have happened in February 2017. What are you talking about? References, please. Any from Sputnik?

          • rose
            Posted November 19, 2017 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

            Riots in Nantes and Brussels.

            The French don’t like reform and Brussels is almost on the way to becoming a no go area outside the protected circle of the EU buildings.

            These don’t get reported here, just as the troubles with the illegal immigrants all over Western Europe don’t get reported

          • hefner
            Posted November 19, 2017 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

            Rose, could you please give your references, as I cannot find anything, even in the French media, happening after February 2017. And given the relative anti-Macron atmosphere, I would think such troubles would be on a number of platforms.
            Thanks a lot.

      • libertarian
        Posted November 17, 2017 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        hans

        Blimey mate have you only just realised? Have you been living under a rock. Hans in politicians tell lies shocker…. who’d a thought it?

        Oh just so you know there will be 450 million in EU , yet there are 743 million people in Europe and 28 European countries NOT in the EU.

      • NickC
        Posted November 17, 2017 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

        Hans, As a Leave voter I was not lied to except by the Remains.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 17, 2017 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Indeed as you say.

      The British people want their country back, its democracy, its parliament, its rule of law, its borders but more than all of this they want the presence of the EU, in all its forms, booted out of the UK

      The EU is NOT Europe

      Indeed the anti-democratic, one size fits all, socialist EU is doing huge damage to Europe all over the place.

    • Oggy
      Posted November 17, 2017 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      It was Russia that won the EU referendum for Leave in June 1916 according to Chris Bryant at Andrea Leadsom’s Business statement yesterday.
      I have news for him, I and everyone I know didn’t need Russian coercion to vote for our country back.
      He’s completely lost the plot – desperately looking for reasons to de-legitimise the referendum result.

      Anyway most of those with twitter/facebook accounts will belong to the younger generation who wanted to remain !

      • Oggy
        Posted November 17, 2017 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        That should be June 2016 (where did 1916 come from ?)

        • jonP
          Posted November 17, 2017 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

          1916 was the year Ireland Irexited out from the UK- lucky them escaping the mad house that has now become Britain.

  2. turboterrier
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Brilliant piece John.

    How sad that a hell of a lot of our politicians and business people cannot have a similar vision.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 17, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      Politicians like pointless bureaucracy and ordering people around. Many big companies are rent seeking and like government grants, a cosy relationship and regulatory rules that kill more efficient competition. The subsidised green crap industry is a prime example.

  3. am
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    The poor state of the UK economy as a services based economy needs to be reversed. We suffer from what is called Dutch disease due to Singapore is a poor comparison: it is a tiny over populated island that must do services as it has no space to do anything else. If the Singaporeans were in the UK then they would be manufacturing like China for the domestic and export market with the extra space they have to build factories. They would be growing their own food in abundance. What the Singaporeans have is a dynamic business mentality independent of other nations. This Britain has gradually lost over the years since we joined the EU. I believe Liam Fox was right about British business and its attitude to work at the higher levels. We need to leave the EU for the3 forcing of the rediscovery of a dynamic business mentality. This includes a domestic rediscovery of investment with the uk to allow increase of productivity and therefore wealth.

    • am
      Posted November 17, 2017 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      replace due to with due to services.

    • Bob
      Posted November 17, 2017 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      @am
      Britain could learn much from Singapore from work visas to their Central Provident Fund (CPF). Actually, CPF is a British colonial legacy.

    • libertarian
      Posted November 17, 2017 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      am

      Total backward looking drivel. You dont even know what a service economy is… You’re laughable you are so out of touch

      If one more person tells me we dont manufacture anything without having the remotest clue about manufacturing I will scream. Rather than post your inane , stupid and ignorant opinions why not do some research first?

      etc ed

  4. Mark B
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    To me the one thing that I want from leaving the EU is, the ability to make our own decisions that are in our own interest. Our kind host does not in my view give this enough prominence as it deserves. To explain. Out of the EU completely we would be able to sit at the top tables in our own right and discuss matters that are of importance to us without having to first negotiate with 27 other heads of government. This far more important than all the monies we will receive once out. To pursue our own global interest and regulate our own market plus, we would be able to set the international standards that even the EU has to abide by.

    Staying in the EU we would end up like Greece – eventually.

    • Man of Kent
      Posted November 17, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Every indication this morning is that we will stay in the EU

      The Government seems to be reneging on the date of exit leaving a ‘bit more time if necessary ‘.The very thing our host spoke so compellingly about in yesterday’s debate
      and
      The continued supremacy of the ECJ in any transition /implementation period has been announced by DD

      It looks as though these shifts are designed specifically to put off the day we become an independent nation state again .

      The BBC was gloating on the News this morning ‘that all the Brexiteer’s red lines were now being crossed ‘

      If we do not get Brexit the damage done to the Conservative party at the next GE at the latest will be seismic and I would not be surprised if there is a spin off at local elections in the interim .

    • hans chr iversen
      Posted November 17, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Greece did it all by themselves they did not need the EU to end up in the ness they ended up in as none of them were paying any taxes

      • Mark B
        Posted November 17, 2017 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

        And all the others?

        Greece should never been allowed to join the Euro a long with all the rest except Germany and France. The EU wanted everyone in the Euro to tighten its grip. So no, Greece is not entirely to blame.

      • NickC
        Posted November 17, 2017 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

        Hans, Not just Greece: Italy, Spain, Portugal too. Who is buying their sovereign debt? – the ECB, with invented QE money. What happens when the music stops? Still think it’s just Greece? It’s easy to blame the victims, but more honest to put the blame where it really lies – the EU/EZ.

  5. alan jutson
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Views and statements taken out of context, fake news, manipulated photographs, all seems standard practice these days to simply make headlines, trouble, or a story.

    Sad that so many organisations have dropped their standards.

    At least on this blog we know where you stand JR.

    Keep up the good work.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted November 17, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Alan, agree with your comments. At least we get facts and figures from John. All very informative.

  6. hans chr iversen
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    John,

    Please, kindly introduce facts and figures which supports your claim about being so positive about the UK economy after Brexit, as I fail to see what has substantiated your argument for being so positive

    thank you

  7. timH
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Truth is as I see it there will be some agreement with the EU for a deal going forward, the UK has little choice now in this regard as there are no new trading deals out there worldwide waiting for us, but for a deal to happen with the EU going forward will cost probably 40 to 60 billion in the exit stage- and i believe has been already largely agreed. Now for the other two stumbling blocks- The Irish border question- will be resolved over the next few days, probably putting the EU border into the Irish Sea. Lastly the other thing about the movement of EU people and UK people- that’s easy- there will be no change about movement of people only about taking up of work. So in the end where does that leave us? we’ll be half in and half out with all of the costs and obligations associated with membership but with absolutely no say.

    • NickC
      Posted November 17, 2017 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

      timH, There is a trading deal out there. It’s one we already use (as does the EU), it’s called the WTO deal. And no need to pay an extortionate bribe for it.

      If the government ends up paying vast amounts of our money, and giving up control of our laws and borders, as you suggest, the Conservative party is finished. I’m not convinced that the Tories will commit such political suicide as you suppose.

  8. Bert Young
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    I have mentioned before that Hammond would do well to study Johns’ blogs on the economy and put some of these observations into his budget . The whole country needs to be incentivised – not just the young ; when industry and commerce succeed revenues increase and the benefits can be spread around . Those who paint negative views and forecasts need to be ridiculed in such a manner they will crawl back into their holes .

  9. leavewon
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Zerohedge today
    ” A Europe we can believe in”
    Always read the comments .
    Best one there being
    Blogging is necessary as a lot of Europeans need to be unbrainwashed
    ( Dont know about all the points made though, too many words )

  10. Linda Jones
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    I find it strange that I am never allowed to comment on this ‘blog’ and my comments are always ‘awaiting moderation’. I always write clearly and moderately and generally in support of a view that has been expressed by another reader, and rarely make comment on any view that is opposite to my own. I should be most interested to know whether ‘awaiting moderation’ means that someone is deciding whether my post is interesting enough to publish or if there is some computer-driven process that cuts off certain posts, for some obscure reason. I never use questionable language.

    • Mark B
      Posted November 17, 2017 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      Linda

      As I proved yesterday, there is definitely a pecking order. Certain posters get s free pass while others are left out. Nothing to do with length, links etc.

      Just do what I do. Keep posting !

  11. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    I might not go as far as a similar ringing declaration that I am “very positive” about the UK economy after we leave the EU. But I have no hesitation in saying that I am “sanguine” about our economic prospects, because just as our membership of the EU has had only marginal economic effects overall so our withdrawal from the EU will have only marginal economic effects overall.

    I repeat for the umpteenth time that Remoaners constantly and grossly and no doubt in many cases knowingly and deliberately exaggerate the economic effects of the EU Single Market and that the EU Commission, including Michel Barnier himself when he was in the responsible position, accepted that the EU Single Market had come nowhere near achieving the originally projected benefits and in fact had added only about 2% to the collective GDP of the member states, while a German study has put the benefit to the UK as below that EU average at only 1% of GDP.

    I would add a word of caution that any gains which were made took place with an orderly process of integration, and we do need an orderly withdrawal to avoid unnecessary short term economic harm.

  12. ian
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Insolvencies on debt in the UK at 967,000, higher than in 2008 by 120,000 people. Excess bank reserves have been funnelled to European banks to buy European companies debt, that why the EU has been doing well the last two years.
    So what going on, as the pound has gone down eastern Europeans have decided to leave the UK cos the pound does not buy as many euros or other currencies as it did, they like to live together to cut housing expenses, so they can send home money every month, knowing they would be leaving the UK they have gone out and rack up loan debt from banks, credit card debt, and bought new car on PCP debt, and left the UK and the debt behind unpaid.
    BOE has very little reserves left now in case of a banking crisis in the UK/ because most of it has been lent to Europe banks and companies, you could say that they have done it again, if anything goes wrong UK taxpayers are on the hook again to bail out the UK banks.

  13. English Pensioner
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    I just look at the fact that the economy is doing well at the moment and jobless totals are down.
    Some major companies are expanding, a number of major foreign companies are setting up here. They wouldn’t be do that if they were expecting problems following Brexit. Nor are their any signs of any major organisations preparing to leave the UK for the EU. A few may be setting up small offices within the EU for convenience, but nothing significant.

    Were companies about to leave, I’m sure that with less than two years to go for a hard Brexit, they would have started to acquire suitable premises within the EU, but so far there are no headlines such as “XYZ plc has acquired office space for 1000 workers in Brussels”.
    The doom-mongers have a hard job on their hands when the facts constantly contradict them!

  14. Epikouros
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    It is a notorious tactic of those who have lost an argument or have something to hide to deny every accusation however obviously true and to take what is said out of context or manipulate the sense of what has been said to frustrate and deceive. We know the greatest proponents of these nefarious practices. They are not nice individuals and groups and society should punish them but alas it does not. So decent people seekers after truth, reason and common sense are being vilified. There has never been much honour in the world and never less so than these times.

    Brexit and other political and societal manifestations have amplified this trait, Also shown that faith based beliefs once heavily embedded in the Christian religion in the West having diminished there have been transferred to more secular ideologies and fantastical notions.

    As you say sweep away this dross of misinformation and obfuscation of the muddled headed devotees(the remainiacs) to the visionary concepts of EU and you will find their is no vengeful deity awaiting us just Brussels and they may act god like but they are not gods. There there is no heavenly abundance of prosperity and security only more of what we suffer now from membership of the EU. Lack of independence, sovereignty, right to self determination, freedom to trade and cooperate with whoever we choose and to have more opportunity to pursue true and effective prosperity and security (a list that is not exhaustive).

  15. Billyg
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Well i for one do not share your view about bei g positive for the UK economy post brexit..business is also very worried..banking and finance are also in the doldrums not sure which way to turn. It would be good at this time if Liam Fox could give us some idea about the future direction of the country as regards international trade. This is all the more important as IDS prediction that the german car workers would twist mrs merkels hand hasn’t happened..nor have the french wine industry people taken to the streets..makes you wonder exactly where are we headed?

  16. George Emerton
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    I do not understand why our exit of the EU is so tied to a tariff free trade deal. As you have so often advocated , we leave on 29/03/2019 ( any time of day) and adopt WTO trade, and sever payments that day. As Cameron committed the UK to a 7 year budget cycle, those monies should then be paid monthly as a charge for the ‘Implementation Period’ up to the maximum of the budget end date so that the UK and EU get their acts together.
    Meanwhile, Liam Fox and the Department for Trade enter talks when the EU agree to talk to achieve tariff free trade as a third party state moving like Canada from WTO to more favourable terms at the same time that agreements with the rest of the world are pursued.
    Just use David Davis and the Brexit Dept. to extricate the UK from the EU and stop this crazy pay to trade .
    The PM said we are not supplicants – but we are. Davis is known as Mr. No but keeps saying yes. Brexit means Brexit, but it doesn’t as we are being corralled into a 5 or 6 year lock in.

  17. Bert Young
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    Linda , It is indeed a mystery that sometimes responses are delayed and do not follow any sort of logical sequence . Some responders seem to be able to receive information throughout the day and comment frequently ; only on a few occasions have I succeeded in doing this . John is a very busy man and obviously cannot attend to these messages as they occur so I assume it is a task that he must delegate . As you say there must be some filtering process .

    Reply I moderate this blog myself. I post short items first

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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