Doomsayers on the economic consequences of Brexit have all the potency of the Millennium bug experts, says John Redwood MP.

In the run up to the new millennium a vast array of experts told us that our computers would not work and civilisation as we know it would come to a halt unless we took expensive and massive remedial actions. Many of us ignored this advice and did nothing. When we came to turn on our computers on 1st January 200 they worked fine, as did all the main public systems.

The so called expert opinion that if we vote to leave the EU we will see a plunging pound, soaring interest rates and a recession has all the potency of the Millennium bug scares. So far despite the probability of Brexit rising, UK interest rates have fallen and the pound has held its value against the dollar. The experts have been wrong again.

I keep getting asked how can I think I am right about no Brexit recession when I am up against the Treasury, the Bank of England and the IMF amongst others? I reply, because they have been wrong about these big matters so often before. Look at the track records.

I opposed the European Exchange Rate Mechanism on the grounds it would badly damage our economy. The Treasury, Bank and IMF recommended it. It gave us a very bad recession in the early 1990s, destroying hundreds of thousands of jobs and many businesses.

I wrote books and took a campaign around the country to explain how damaging joining the Euro would be for the UK. It was voters, not the institutions, who kept us out of a very dangerous project. The damage I feared was visited instead on Greece, Southern Italy, Spain, Portugal and Ireland. They were plunged into deep recessions, made to cut spending drastically, and ended up with very high unemployment.

I with the whole Opposition in Parliament told the Bank and the Treasury that they were too lax in expanding credit before the 2008 bust. They did it nonetheless.

I warned against excessive tightening in 2007-8. They ignored the warnings and brought several major banks down, creating the biggest post war recession of them all.

These so called experts did not forecast the biggest two recessions of recent years, and did not understand how their policies created them. Why then should we think their current forecasts have any probability of being right?

There will be no recession from Brexit. Our trade is not at risk. We start our negotiations with the rest of the EU from the position of having common rules and standards and no tariffs. Who wants to change that? Certainly not Germany, who sells us so much more than we buy from them.

A future recession is possible, in or out of the EU but it will have nothing to do with Brexit. It is more likely to be caused by bad Central banking, as last time, or by a crisis in some other major economy of the world knocking on to us. It could even come about if the Eurozone has a crash owing to the poor design of their currency. Out of the EU we will have a bit more flexibility to cushion the blows.

This article has been republished with the kind permission of John Redwood MP. This and other articles are available from his blog

 

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