March 3, 2017

Cut the Brexit gloom-mongering

Cut the Brexit gloom-mongering

Much of the economic gloom mongering is erroneously being blamed on Brexit, says John Redwood MP.

Most days I hear or read a news item that tells me something has happened because of Brexit, or something has happened despite Brexit. Usually the item has nothing to do with Brexit whatsoever, would have happened without the Brexit vote and would have been given a different explanation then.

Some of the media and political spin post Brexit were classic examples of fake news. The commentators, forecasters and journalists put on their dark Brexit glasses, and decided that anything bad which happened because of Brexit, and anything good which happened despite Brexit. They went out looking for negative stories. The property commentators and some of the valuers wanted to show commercial property was down 15-20 per cent. The only problem was there were plenty of buyers and no sellers at such discounts. They wanted to show housebuilding declined and home prices fell. Apart from top end prices which had been in freefall ever since Mr Osborne’s anti Non-Dom anti dear property budget in April, home prices stayed up. Housebuilders, often gloomy themselves, had to report good levels of sales and expand their production to cater with rising demand. There were plenty of large company executives prepared to say they were worried and reviewing their investment in the immediate aftermath of the vote, but when actual news came out about investment it was of new investment being made in the UK to reflect the good levels of consumer and business demand.

So, here’s a thought for the gloomy commentators. Most of what is happening on jobs, inflation, investment, car buying, homeownership is nothing to do with Brexit. The price rises we have seen come from higher oil and commodity prices and are in line with similar rises in the USA and Germany which are not undertaking an exit from the EU. Just as joining the EEC did not lead to any increase in UK GDP, just as completing the single market did not lead to any increase in GDP, leaving it should not lead to any fall in GDP. I think leaving the EU is a most important political and constitutional event, but it is not for the UK much of an economic event. It is a bit bigger economic event for the rest of the EU, as they are the ones who will lose our contributions and need to secure their favourable access to our market which they use to such good effect currently.

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John Redwood MP
John Redwood MP
John Redwood is the Member of Parliament for Wokingham in Berkshire. He was formerly Secretary of State for Wales in Prime Minister John Major's Cabinet. He is currently Co-Chairman of the Conservative Party's Policy Review Group on Economic Competitiveness.
  • Blowmedown

    The bias displayed by the BBC is all pervasive and can be found across the whole spectrum of their output. I object to paying pay what now amounts to a political levy that enables them to spout their distorted world view on everything. The only solution is to close down the BBC and let them get their own financial backers from wherever they can.

  • Badger

    I wish someone would sack that squirt Nick Robinson. I can’t stand his opinions or his voice.

  • Odo Saunders

    Macron is simply another manifestation of the ancien regime, and like Hollande he has no clear idea how to deal with the terrorist threat to France. As he has no parliamentary base, he will find it difficult to push through any economic reforms and, if he does get any proposed reforms through parliament, he will still face the infantile wrath of the French student body and the communist-inspired trade union members. France is in for a further period of economic decline and chaos. However, the sense of relief in the BBC studios this morning was palpable! The failure of many of the BBC’s presenters to take an objective viewpoint regarding the future of that benighted country is truly frightening. At least that weasel Robinson on BBC Radio 4 was happy this morning.

  • evad666

    When are we going to see the Press address the Terrorist support cells operating within Brussels and Strasbourg EU institutions. The ones headed by Juncker, Weber, Pitella, Verhofstadt, Zimmer and Skeller


  • Michael990

    I’m proud to be a salt mine hider. I have never, nor will I ever, watched ‘Game of Thrones’.

  • Nockian

    I didn’t vote for Cameron and his election promise of a referendum and I won’t be voting for May and her election promise of a ‘good deal for Britain’.

    I’m too old to fall for it anymore. I’ve grown weary of the theatrics. My vote won’t make a difference to what May does, or doesn’t do. My vote won’t make a happeth of difference and I have has much interest in this election as I would in the Eurovision Song Contest and that, to be honest, is a more pleasing spectacle. Maybe we should do an X factor kind of thing, where instead of policies, the contenders had to audition with a talent and if they failed they got dunked in a big vat of acid and we get to watch them dissolve-I’d watch that and and I might even vote.

  • Derek

    I suspect most Labour MPs will have a very good idea of their chances in 2020. If they expect to lose and are old they can afford to wait, take the hit and pension. The younger need to consider what else they can do. If a suitable opportunity comes up prior to 2020 some will jump ship. Labour is re-running the 1980s with far left politics (some of the names have been changed). Wilderness years mark 2 is the likely outcome with a decade or two of conservative governments. I’ve known some avid labour supporters move to initially to UKIiP but now are thinking of voting Conservative.
    Whoops, just heard there’s a General Election on June 8th. Too late I’m afraid now if you haven’t already made plans. Betting odds 1/5 Conservative majority: 12/1 Labour majority

  • Calvin Graham

    At a million dollars each, all those missiles are very expensive. I do hope there’s not some group of lobbyists with bad intentions trying to manipulate the situation to make money more out of it…
    My cartoon on the sorry mess:

  • Leo Savantt

    A flat rate tax on income is the best solution. It treats everyone equally, which surely would make the socialists happy and it has the advantage of making the richer pay more. If society is to offer equality under the law and be governed under the principles of the Rule of Law, then the law must apply equally to all, including laws on taxation.

    The idea that socialists tax the rich because they don’t like them may well be true, but considering Gordon Brown leveled income tax on the lowest earners, it is equally likely that socialists don’t much like the poor either. There is a misanthropic current that runs through leftist policy, whether it be in terms of social or taxation policy and as such they and their political dogma is best avoided.

  • Wild Bill

    I look forward to your next article on this subject Mr Redwood. It is one of the crucial pivots of politics: how, and how much, to tax the rich. It sounds a good idea – caring, compassionate etc. etc. But there is a tipping point, and it is important to know where that is. I remember how we passed that point in the seventies, and what resulted. As always, the poor suffer most if we get it wrong.

  • Calvin Graham

    The Gibraltar stuff in the tabloids is utterly ludicrous, that’s how desperate the Remoaners are. Although if it does kick off then I for one don’t mind being drafted, just as long as I’m stationed on the Costa Del Sol and they bring back generous rum/gin rations.

  • Nockian

    Many good points, but it doesn’t hit the nail on the head.

    Diversity in the sense Trudeau means it, means the retention of all cultural behaviours is superior to modern western culture. It is the pronouncement of a nihilist that is saying ‘be and act in any way you like, because there are no moral, nor superior ways of acting; particularly Western culture that was built on reason over mysticism’. It is to say that a Rembrant is no better than a squiggle of paint; that science is equal to mystic chanting or human sacrifice; that there is no good and evil to the moral pragmatist.

    Trudeau is a very dangerous man he will destroy the good because he neither grasps it nor values it. He is the man who walks through a crockery store smashing up the plates and cups and declaring that he has done no damage, only altered the form of the fired clay from which they were made.

    If we should wonder why the barbarians have crept ever closer and now reside in our cities, it is because people didn’t stand up to people like Trudeau and eventually such a man was elected over them.

    Diversity isn’t strength it’s moral pragmatism, cowardice and irrationalism. It’s the mom who lets her children do anything they want, who believes the expression of emotion is more relevant than the application of reason. That feeling is superior and that the mind just gets in the way. He is encouraging the most base aspects of ancient humanity, barbaric tribalism and hoisting it as a conquering flag over Western enlightenment.

  • Nockian

    I noticed and that’s why I no longer vote. Waste of time.

    Thats the problem with democracy, it is inevitably the tyranny of the many over the few. We all saw what happened in the referendum where parties no longer had a partisan position and it shocked the hell out of the globalist establishment. Parties have to puddle in the ‘middle ground’ if they want to be in power- the middle ground being somewhat like middle earth, a mythical place. It is really majority populism in which the main parties must try and pretend there is a difference in their policies.

    A mixed economy that is half socialist and supposedly half private capitalism, is a compromise in which everyone, including the capitalists want to get something they didn’t earn by getting the state to take it from someone else. Those at the extremes pull at the middle until it thins to nothing, then there is no middle and we end up with a country full of a mass of unskilled workless poor and a small contingent of very wealthy fascist corporate businesses that have no one left to buy their products/services. QE has accelerated the fire that has been consuming the ladder of opportunity and we will end up in a position in which the state has to declare far reaching authoritarianism (secular or religious), or their is some kind of violent revolution (the less likely).

    The answer is to remove the state from commerce and welfare completely and move to laissez faire capitalism with strong laws and objective judges that protect the rights of life, liberty, property. Of course there is one chance in a billion that will happen.

  • A real liberal

    Absolutely spot on. Bring on the referenda. The more the merrier.

  • Richard (another one)

    I’m sure that you’re right, but I also suspect that “Good Time Cat” is on to something when he says the fix is in – or certainly well along the way to be. People in power can see the gravy train leaving the station without them and in any case, don’t like to be proven wrong. If they are proven wrong, if it’s demonstrated that people driving buses and working in factories have more common sense than they do, then it calls into question their positions – and thus the salaries, expense accounts and pensions which they would never get elsewhere. I will believe Brexit when I see it, and not before.

  • Terry Howard

    Yep, most of the economic news (apart from the fall in Sterling) is nothing to do with Brexit. Nonetheless, people keep saying it is. Close to leaving date, and after it, we will start to see the effects of Brexit.

  • Debs

    The voice of sanity.

    The remain lobby don’t realise what a joke and a turn off they are becoming especially the BBC.Its becoming a contest in our house to guess each morning what will Brexit be blamed for today !

  • Good time cat

    Mr Redwood,

    I sense the Brexit the fix is in and the mechanism for stopping Brexit completely has now been created. The Lords amendment which will be moved on 7 March allows a parliamentary block on any leaving of the EU and will probably kill any good deal with the EU. Theresa May must stop this amendment being written into the bill and must not create any government equivalent. Here’s a piece I wrote on this for the Guido Fawkes blog –

    The Amendment Pannick and co are trying to get into the Article 50 bill next week (March 7) has appeared. It is a revision of 17 which was tactically withdrawn during the Lord’s deliberations on March 1

    I’m no expert, but the first 2 clauses seem to restate what the government has already basically committed to – a parliamentary vote on any agreement terms/deal reached with the EU. However, in the revised clause 4 of the Amendment they are stipulating that the parliamentary vote is required to approve leaving at all – say where the government wishes to leave under WTO terms, no satisfactory deal having been agreed by the government and the EU/where a vote in parliament on the deal has rejected it.The government’s position as I understand it is that a vote of parliament will be – accept this deal, if not the UK leaves under WTO rules. This is what the minister, David Jones, told the commons during the February debates. What this amendment seem to be saying is parliament has a veto on any leaving of the EU –

    4) The prior approval of both houses of parliament shall also be required in relation to any decision of the Prime Minister that the UK will leave the EU without an agreement as to the applicable terms.

    Well folks. It seems here they are giving parliament and NOT the people the final say on if we shall/shall not leave the EU at all. By this Amendment the EU is free to give us a bad deal knowing it will be rejected by parliament. The PM cannot then leave as she wishes under any poor deal situation unless parliament approves of, let’s say, going on WTO terms; without a significant change in the composition of the house of commons such approval is by no means a certainty. If it did clear the commons, once it gets to the Lords it might very well be then held up for over a year if the composition of the Lords stays the same as it looks now and a lot of new pro Brexit peers haven’t been created.

    I’d be grateful if anyone can inform me I’m wrong about what’s this represents. To me it seems right now as if we have here the tool by which the remaniacs plan to block Brexit and overturn the referendum, the one in which the public were assured the decision was THEIRS to make NOT that of MPS. The Amendment works to encourage the EU to hold for a bad deal the UK government cannot sell to parliament and puts in place the means by which any leaving without a deal can be blocked by parliament.

    At least the name of Baroness Smith, Labour leader of the Lords, is not on the Amendment, so it may not have the official backing of the party. If this Amendment is attached to the bill by the Lords, If May is serious about delivering Brexit, she needs to be damn sure she has enough parliamentary support in the commons to kill it. She needs to seriously consider a general election if it gets through. The threat of this could discourage any tendency for Labour to support the Amendment. A bigger Tory majority must be highly desirable. She would also need to either put in place a significant reform of the Lords powers, or see to the creation of a lot more Brexit peers if ANOTHER Lords sabotage of leaving the EU is not to quite possibly happen in 2 years.

  • geo

    I’ll be honest … every time some idiotic “despite brexit” or “because of brexit” headline hits and talking heads start pontificating about how terrible it is … I think another 1000 or 10k voters switch their views to anti eu. just as every threat from the eu great and good hardens opinion in the uk that the eu is a tyranny in sheeps clothing.

    also its the eu that needs to fear brexit. with the italian banking crisis only getting worse, italy too big to fail and the eu with no idea how to bail italy out. it leaves only italy leaving the euro as a solution … and once the other countries see that leaving the euro will allow their countries the freedom to use currency levels as a tool once more … they all will quit the german’s sneaky scheme for lower interest rates.

  • ratcatcher11

    Tell that to the Left Libs in Parliament who reckon the sky is about to fall in.

  • Masakatsu Agatsu

    I agree, only 7% of our GDP involves exports of goods (i.e. covered under the ‘single market’) to the EU and our nett EU contribution relative to those exports equates to a tariff of about 6%. Our total (goods plus services) exports to the EU are in decline, down to about 40% of total exports. The idea that the world’s fifth largest economy is going to be brought to its knees because it has left a failing political construct is hysteria.

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