This article was first published on The Commentator.
Last Thursday was a humbling day for the economic ‘experts’. The vast majority of the profession formed the backbone of Project Fear during the EU Referendum campaign.
As the opinion polls got tighter in the run up to the 23rd of June, the warnings got more hysterical. The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, predicted an immediate recession and the then Chancellor, George Osborne, warned there would be a significant contraction in GDP in the months following a Leave vote, requiring a punitive post-Brexit Budget.
These warnings have now been proven to be completely off the mark. The UK’s GDP figures for the third quarter of 2016 registered 0.5 percent growth, showing the public has, in the words of Michael Gove, had “enough of ‘experts’” and has instead followed the classic British mantra of keeping calm and carrying on shopping.
Further embarrassment for Remaniacs last week was the announcement by Nissan, the Japanese carmaker, it will build two new car models, the Qashqai and X-Trail SUV, at its Sunderland plant.
This decision is a massive vote of confidence in both Theresa May’s government and in Brexit Britain. It is further embarrassment for those Remainiacs who predicted foreign investment in Britain would stop due to the ‘uncertainty’ caused by Brexit.
The elite who snootily remarked how Sunderland had voted for mass-unemployment by backing Leave, have been left with more egg on their faces. Nissan’s decision clearly demonstrates Brexit was not a vote for economic ‘self-harm’, but instead a vote for an outward-looking, global Britain.
Last Thursday was not the only bad day for Remainiacs. The day before also saw more backtracking by a member of the Project Fear gang. Roberto Azevedo, chief of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), admitted to Sky News that the UK will continue to be a member of the WTO, and how Brexit will not lead to a trade ‘vacuum or disruption’.
This is in contrast to the claims he made in an interview with the Financial Times in May, warning the UK would not be allowed to ‘cut and paste’ its terms of membership with the WTO, indicating it would have to negotiate membership from scratch if we voted to Leave.
Roberto joins the growing list of international figures who have admitted they were wrong over Brexit. It is time for the Remaniacs in the UK Parliament and the Bank of England to do the same.
The strength of Britain’s position in the upcoming Brexit negotiations has become more apparent. A Civitas report published this week revealed how much more the EU has to lose from post-Brexit trade tariffs. The report reveals companies in the other 27 Member States would face double the cost faced by UK firms if the EU insists on trade tariffs.
Civitas found it would cost EU businesses in the 27 remaining Member States a total of some £12.9bn every year to export their goods into the UK if a deal is not reached with Europe and trade is conducted under WTO rules. It would, in contrast, only cost British firms around £5.2bn a year, which could be subsidised by the UK Government in the short term.
The greater trade opportunities which will be made available to the UK, post-Brexit, would easily counter any loss of business to Europe and would ensure the success of UK manufacturers long into the future.
It is clear Theresa May is going to Brussels with a far stronger negotiating hand than her predecessor, and the word coming out of Number 10 is she is prepared to play hardball. Downing Street has discussed plans to cut the UK’s Corporation Tax in half, if Brussels is unwilling to offer a good Brexit deal.
This cut, which would see the UK’s Corporation Tax reduced from 20 percent to 10 percent, is a powerful card for Theresa May to play. The recent rulings in Brussels on Ireland’s tax arrangements with Apple, shows the fear within Brussels of low-tax regimes which would suck businesses away from the rest of the EU.
Theresa May should go to Brussels informing EU leaders of her willingness to make a mutually beneficial deal, but warning them of the consequences if they fail to agree to play ball. The prospect of a low tax and regulatory UK is one which fills European politicians and bureaucrats with dread, and should ensure Theresa May secures a good deal for Britain.
Last week we saw the warnings of Project Fear being well and truly debunked. Companies like Nissan are continuing to invest in the UK, and statistics reveal our economy is still going strong.
A growing number of international figures are coming forward to admit they were wrong on Brexit and they now recognise the huge opportunities it presents worldwide.
There are still too many Remainiacs within the UK who are burying their heads in the sand, insisting the UK is heading towards economic Armageddon.
Yet these are a shrinking minority who are being increasingly ignored by the Great British Public. The past week has given us further proof of why we were right to Get Britain Out of the EU.