The economic impact of Brexit tariffs only tells us half the story

Dover

Brexit is about much more than the economic costs and benefits, but the idea that the former dramatically outweigh the latter has become the received wisdom in much of the media. Report after report emerges which purports to show that, under any of the various trade arrangements envisaged, the UK will be worse off as […]

Britain is more optimistic about Brexit than gloomy forecasts suggest

British Weather

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is up to its usual tricks. Last week, it predicted a two-year recession in the UK in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Even in the main forecast, involving a mild Brexit, GDP was projected to grow by only 1.2 per cent this year and 1.4 per cent in 2020. […]

This Nobel-winning economist can tell you why there’s no Brexit consensus

Brexit

Should pure blue sky research be funded? Certainly, the answer from government-backed research councils seems to be “no”. The emphasis is increasingly on research which has immediate practical applications. Yet seemingly esoteric research can shed light in quite unexpected areas. For example, a PhD thesis written by a then obscure research student 70 years ago […]

Europe has suffered from the euro – just ask the Greeks

Street Art - Euro

One of the entertainments of the holiday period was reading Adults In The Room, the book by Yanis Varoufakis. It describes his time as finance minister of Greece, and his negotiations with the IMF, the European Central Bank, and the European Commission. Varoufakis was only in the job between January and July 2015. He had the […]

The Ghost of Christmas Past could tell us where the negotiations all went wrong

Theresa May

In Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Scrooge finds being haunted by the Ghost of Christmas Past unbearable. He begs it to stop. The Ghost replies: “These are the shadows of things that have been. That they are what they are, do not blame me.” It might almost be the Prime Minister speaking about the whole […]

The UK’s capacity to innovate matters far more than panic over consumer spending

Regent Street and Oxford Street

The debate about Brexit has become mired in a virtually incomprehensible quagmire of detailed and technical negotiations between the UK and the rest of the EU. Yet the campaign itself in 2016 was dominated by broader questions of political economy. In addition to the hurly burly of claims about extra NHS spending or Project Fear, […]

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