A new group calling itself “Economists for Brexit” has published a set of forecasts of what it believes will happen to the British economy should Britain vote to leave the European Union and criticised the “economic illiteracy” of the remain campaign.
In a 45-page dossier called “The Economy after Brexit” the group outlines its economic vision for a post-Brexit Britain Here are some of forecasts being provided by the group,
- UK economic output would grow by 2%.
- Competitiveness would rise by 5%.
- Wage growth, in real disposable terms — up 1.5%.
- Both inflation and interest rates would grow to be in the range of 2-3%.
- Britain’s current account deficit would improve to be just 1.5% of GDP.
- Unemployment would go beyond current levels, falling a further 0.2%, or roughly 75,000 people.
The forecasts are based on the “Liverpool Economic Model” initially created in by Patrick Minford, the group’s co-chair in the 1980s.
The group is composed of eight economists, including Boris Johnson’s chief economic adviser, several professors of economics, and the chairman of Capital Economics, a major consultancy.
Here’s an extract from its website:
The Economists for Brexit is a group of eight independent, leading economists who are convinced of the strong economic case for leaving the EU. To date, debate on the economic merits of whether the UK should remain in the EU has become overwhelmed by the Government’s Project Fear campaign. Each of the eight economists have become exasperated by the scaremongering and often economic illiteracy of this campaign.
At the same time, the group believes that whilst there are a substantial number of economic arguments to support Brexit, they are yet to be made in public. The purpose of this group is to explain the vey clear economic arguments in favour of Brexit, offering voters – who are crying out for clarity on the economics of Brexit facts based on proven economic models, as opposed to speculation.
Minford — who appeared on the BBC’s Daily Politics earlier on Thursday, and seems to be the public face of Economists for Brexit — is probably best known in economic circles for writing a fervent defence of the policies of prime minister Margaret Thatcher.
In 1981, after a group of 364 economists published a statement criticising the neoliberal economic policies, Minford defended Thatcher in an article in the Times, leading to a personal congratulation from the prime minister.
Alongside the forecasts, Economists for Brexit argue that a trade deal — one of the key issues cited by remain campaigners as an economic sticking point following Brexit — is not needed. Here’s an extract from the group’s dossier:
The UK does not need a trade deal to trade! The UK already trades heavily with many countries across the globe with which it has no trade deal. We successfully trade with these countries under the rules of the WTO and we can continue to do likewise with EU countries in future. The same is currently the case for the United States, Japan, China, and most of the world.
So far in the lead up to the EU referendum, the vast majority of economic predictions about what will happen should the UK vote leave the 28-nation bloc have centred around the negative effects on both Britain and the rest of the world, with international organisations including the OECD and the IMF warning on the dangers Brexit poses to the global economy.
This is the first time that a group focused on the leave campaign has published a detailed analysis of the economics of Brexit, as well as forecasts. Previous discourse about the economy from Brexit campaigners has frequently descended into slanging and accusations of scaremongering levelled at the remain camp.