To begin with, let’s be clear that the UK’s second quarter GDP data were disappointing. The 0.2% quarter-on-quarter (q/q) fall was the first decline since 2012, and also bigger than expected (the consensus forecast was for no change). What’s more, the UK was, at the time, the only major economy to report an outright fall in … Continue reading Why Q2’s fall in UK GDP isn’t a game changer
‘Americans want our NHS’, ‘people before profits’, ‘#NHSNotForSale’… it’s always been difficult to have a sensible discussion about healthcare in the UK, but if you combine the NHS with both Brexit and Trump, it seems almost impossible. Fortunately, there are still some people – even on Twitter – who are willing to engage in constructive … Continue reading NHS scaremongering shouldn’t block a US-UK trade deal
The IMF is the latest official body to predict economic catastrophe – or at least a prolonged recession – if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. To be fair, the analysis presented in the IMF’s April World Economic Outlook is a good example of its kind and relatively easy to understand. Nonetheless, the conclusions are … Continue reading Why the IMF’s no-deal Brexit warnings are way over the top
The 'Better Brexit’ website provides a clear explanation of the proposal known as ‘Common Market 2.0’, or 'Norway Plus', which is being pushed hard as a solution to the current impasse in parliament. However, it also exposes the fundamental weaknesses of this plan. Rather than being a reasonable compromise, my fear is that it would … Continue reading Common Market 2.0 would be a Brexit capitulation too far
On the morning of 13th March the government confirmed that it intends to eliminate 87% of tariffs on goods imported into Britain, but only if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, and only for an initial 12 month period. This plan therefore raised just two cheers from me. However, as I write this, … Continue reading Why we should cut tariffs, whether others follow or not
According to the latest estimates from the Centre for European Reform (CER), the UK economy was 2.5% smaller in the fourth quarter of 2018 than it would have been had Britain voted to remain in the EU referendum. The Bank of England has recently published similar work by the independent MPC member Gertjan Vlieghe, which suggests that the … Continue reading Is the UK economy already 2.5% smaller as a result of Brexit?