Brexit: Treasury reveals economic impact scenarios

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Brexit will cause a significant downturn to the UK economy regardless of the deal agreed, according to the Treasury’s analysis, with a no deal slashing 9.7% worth of growth over the next 15 years. John Stokdyk and Tom Herbert take some expert soundings on the potential scenarios.

It’s impossible to push aside politics when it comes to Brexit, but even at this late hour the outcome of the UK’s negotiations with the other 27 countries is so uncertain that the only sensible option for businesses and their advisers is to consider the potential impacts of the three most likely scenarios on their business operations.

This is what the Treasury has done with the EU exit long-term economic analysis it published this week.

Likely outcomes

Speaking at a seminar hosted by app developer Figured in June, agricultural economist Sean Rikard predicted the ongoing uncertainties: “[Theresa May] wants to give certainty, but there can’t be any certainty until the final thing is agreed. The likely outcomes are likely to be that we stay in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Customs Union, with no voting rights. If there is no deal, we would go to a World Trade Organisation (WTO) regime. There would be tariffs and non-tariff barriers on all trade. If the government doesn’t win enough support, there could be an election or second referendum and we’d go back to where we started.”

As the Treasury released its report with just 118 days to go (at time of writing) until the Brexit deadline triggered by article 50, Rikard’s predicted uncertainty sees the UK teetering on the border of chaos.

Prime Minister Theresa May is boxed into a near-impassible political gridlock by the resistance of Brexit hardliners in her own party, her dependence on the 10 Democratic Unionist MPs who refuse to countenance any different treatment for Northern Ireland and the intransigent stance in Brussels, where negotiators are publicly saying there is no more room for manoeuver on the deal agreed with the other 27 countries.

The Treasury undertook forecasting work based on four different scenarios. Thanks to the fluidity of the negotiations, none of the scenarios actually matches the shape of the current exit agreement, but the options range from a milder option that assumes the UK is part of the EEA to a 'hard Brexit' (remember that term?) scenario if a negotiated agreement cannot be reached.

Unless you are an ardent Eurosceptic, it will come as little surprise to learn that the Treasury analysis shows that higher barriers to UK-EU trade would be likely to result in greater economic costs.

Nearest option to the current deal

The policy position closest option to the current proposals (the outline arrangements agreed at Chequers in July with subsequent amendments) would result in 3.9% less growth in GDP over the next 15 years, roughly equivalent to £100bn a year (according to estimates quoted by the BBC).

Potential fallbacks

Although not currently on the table, the Treasury considered the likely impacts of a free trade agreement with zero tariffs, and an EEA-scenario, which would mean staying in the Single Market, implementing new EU legislation automatically in its entirety, and continued free movement of people. This would be akin to the position of Norway in relation to the EU, and would be unlikely to meet the government's commitments to ensure no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, the study noted. The likely impact of the softer EEA scenario would mean 1.4% less growth over a 15-year cycle, while the impact of the free trade option outside of the Customs Union could reach 6.7%.

No deal

In the event that no deal can be reached, the Treasury based its assessment on average non-tariff barriers (NTBs) between countries trading on non-preferential World Trade Organization (WTO) terms and applying EU-applied 'most-favoured nation' tariffs. The ultimate impacts could slow down the UK’s economic growth by up to 9.3% over the term of the Treasury’s forecast.

Rikard likened this scenario to Canada’s status, where there is no access to the single market or the Customs Union. There would be no free movement of goods or people, and imports would be subject to duties and checks as they arrived.

The UK would be free to drop its tariffs and treat all countries equally until it signed free trade agreements with them: their tariffs would be applied in the interim. The UK would also have to reapply to become a member of WTO, as that status is currently achieved through membership of the EU.  

“You don’t just join the WTO,” Rikard warned. “There are stages of membership. They would have to propose applying WTO tariffs and hope that no one objects.” With bitter memories of 1980s quotas, New Zealand is already voicing potential objections, he added.

Costs of leaving the Customs Union

Avalara vice president and VAT expert Richard Asquith is another astute observer when it comes to the likely impacts. He has sketched out the three-option model for the past two years and put the cost of leaving the Customs Union as high as €6bn a year: roughly €2-€4bn for running a separate customs operation and another 2bn or so for the impact of reduced trade.

As well as experiencing the inflationary effects of a falling pound - with which the UK is already familiar - the no deal option would mean the UK had to renegotiate countless EU standards agreements on issues as diverse as aviation, radioactive goods and medicine.

Brexit will mean more compliance and the loss of zero-rated intra-community supplies; imports that come in from the EU will be subject to 20% UK VAT and vice versa on exports, Asquith explained at the ICB conference earlier this week.

The controversial multi one-stop shop (MOSS) filings for UK businesses selling B2C digital items to consumers in the EU will also change. In the event of a no deal Brexit all affected business will have to register for Non-Union MOSS in one Member State or register for VAT individually in each of the member states where it is required to account for VAT. “A lot of businesses will just stop selling into Europe,” Asquith predicted.

On the bright side, he added, there will be some good news: “No more intrastat!”

Although the costs will be significant, Asquith took a more pragmatic view of the likely outcome for VAT after the two-year transition period planned from 19 January next year. “Nothing will happen. VAT accounts for 26% of our [tax] revenue. There’s no scope to cut it,” he said.

“The EU VAT system was set up in 1993 under what was meant to be a transition agreement, which still in place,” Asquith said. “The EU fudges everything, so it’ll just be another two-year transition period. However, transition isn’t the right word if you don’t know what you’re transitioning to.”

Do your Brexit homework

The Treasury economic forecasts make for heavy reading, and the issues don’t get any easier as you dig into the regulatory and tax detail surrounding Brexit. While promoting the analysis, Chancellor Philip Hammond repeatedly emphasised that only half of UK companies had prepared any contingency plans in case of a no-deal split from the EU.

As this brief summary may have indicated, there are multiple factors to take into account. At this stage, it would be prudent for any accountant in business or practice who has not investigated the effect of the different Brexit options to start doing so now. While the conclusions may be sobering, it is an ideal opportunity for the profession to act proactively and exert a calming, strategic influence.

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30th Nov 2018 11:14

What a load of bunkem. Why should there be a downturn at all. Why not an increase in grow with the potential of vast markets opening up. Shops all over the world are having problems because of internet buying. Why, because they're all selling the same stuff. Food shops/stores aren't having problems. Primark isn't having problems. Some business models have to change to accommodate new ways of shopping. Could it be that all these university types (no disrespect intended) that think they are experts are suddenly finding that they don't know as much as they think they know. A lot of these boffins are now relying on pressing computer buttons instead of thinking.
Oh yes the Brexit agreement will not get through parliament. TM will call a general election and the people will vote her in with a much increased majority.
Time for politicians and "experts" to grow a set and make this thing work. Yes Carney, Hammy, Bojo, and Gove, I'm talking to you.

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to johnjenkins
30th Nov 2018 11:31

Erm…. I'm moving clients to Ireland already.... are you saying you have no clients reliant on EU trade?
For this one client it means a potential loss of £200k to lower income families in the town. That is one client, I don't imagine they are isolated. OK whether they move the entire business abroad will depend on final drafts but it IS a real possibility.
I assume you ignore medical experts when getting an illness diagnosed or choosing a recommended path of treatment and that when you buy a house you get an engineer in.
Doctors and surveyors make mistakes but they are in the best position to give advice and make predictions of outcomes. Economic outcomes have so many factors to build in, of course they make mistakes but why when the vast majority of economists are predicting a down turn in the economy are they all suddenly idiots?

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to accountantccole
30th Nov 2018 12:04

Economic forecasts are mainly made on assumptions (they have to be in the case of Brexit). Doctors get xrays, scans etc.
What happened to the economists predictions after the referendum? Did they apologise for getting it Soooooooooooooooooooooooooo wrong? No they carry on making ludicrous predictions regardless knowing someone somewhere will listen to them.

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By Locutus
to accountantccole
01st Dec 2018 00:40

accountantccole wrote:

I assume you ignore medical experts when getting an illness diagnosed or choosing a recommended path of treatment and that when you buy a house you get an engineer in.

I feel your analogy is not a particularly good one. Brexit (or anything like it) has never happened before - Greenland leaving the EEC in 1985 is not comparable. Consequently there are no real "experts" on what will happen (good or bad) after Brexit. At best, a few short-term educated guesses can be made.

As for trying to forecast 15 years ahead, when there will have been at least 4 governments, is quite frankly laughable.

On the other hand, doctors and engineers have the benefit of a whole history of knowledge in their fields to draw upon and to allow them to make informed assessments.

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to Locutus
03rd Dec 2018 09:17

I agree that this is a much harder situation to predict but surely those who dedicate their lives to studying the effects of changes in policy, exchange rates, etc are better positioned to make the predictions than the rest of us?

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to accountantccole
03rd Dec 2018 09:50

I understand your thinking, however a lot of posters on this site have many years of experience in business and I would trust their judgement far better than remoaning politicians who can't get there own way. I don't know anyone in the real world, in business (I'm not talking about the big boys) who is frightened of leaving the EU.

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to johnjenkins
03rd Dec 2018 12:26

I refer to my original post - businesses are already leaving. I've moved to France. That is my tax lost to the UK economy

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to accountantccole
03rd Dec 2018 13:00

Good luck moving to France. I can't see Macron lasting too long. We might have demonstrations here but not martial law. Anyway you can't beat the UK for living (don't forget 300K+ every year were trying to live here). Remember one thing. When the EU go pear shaped don't coming running to us for support, but then, no doubt you'll up sticks and move to another apparently greener field.

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to johnjenkins
04th Dec 2018 07:36

Or perhaps I lived in France as part of my degree and fell in love with the place. Brexit just gave me the motivation (and more importantly my husband) to leave the island and follow my dream.

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to accountantccole
04th Dec 2018 10:04

I wish you all the best, however I have reservations in the fact that you needed "Brexit" as a motivation to follow your dream as there was nothing stopping you from moving prior to "Brexit".

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to accountantccole
04th Dec 2018 15:35

Wow Brexit gave you a husband?

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By DJKL
to johnjenkins
04th Dec 2018 10:44

My Brother in Law. He is a Qualified Person within the pharmaceutical industry. His company offers his services around the world, circa 80% of his turnover is overseas.

Whilst not all of the overseas income takes place in Europe the "instructions" tend to originate from companies based in Austria etc with overseas subsidiaries outwith the EU.

If there is no cross border recognition of his qualification/ designation as a QP his business is effectively killed.

In case you do not know what a QP is, here is a definition,

"Qualified person (QP) is a technical term used in European Union pharmaceutical regulation (Directive 2001/83/EC for Medicinal products for human use)."

So, maybe you do not know one but at least you know off one.

Re people in business frightened, no, wrong term,but we are certainly apprehensive as we have no idea re our tenants their reliance on EU supply chains /markets for their continuing operations- hence one of the reasons we have been hoarding cash, as a buffer for any downturn so that if push comes to shove we can ride out cashflow interruptions.

So here is someone in business who is apprehensive(I only do the accounting practice bit for holiday money, my main role in life is managing the admin/finance function of a property business)

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to DJKL
04th Dec 2018 12:31

No doubt there are others similar to your brother in law.
This is what the negotiations were and will continue to be all about. Hence the agreement, which politicians are using for political purposes. Common sense says you have to have an agreement which takes into account intertwined business transactions. For MP's, both sides of the House, to ignore the common sense side of the agreement is tantamount to arrogance. If Parliament wake up and smell the coffee on Dec 11th. and agree to TM's proposals that would go a long way to allay any apprehension that business might have.

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By DJKL
to johnjenkins
04th Dec 2018 16:27

I thought that was less likely after the abridged "Hotel California" legal advice was prised from the Attorney General.

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to DJKL
05th Dec 2018 09:32

All this is just posturing. I believe Labour are trying to dupe the Tory MP's into a general election which, with the help of SNP, they think they will win. OK lets go one stage further if Parliament can take away the authority to make a decision on Brexit if the deal doesn't go through, then aren't we, the public, entitled to take the authority away from MP's and decide ourselves what should happen. It's a pity the Tory party don't have a system of electing their leader like labour. TM could then sack those Ministers not behind her and have a grass root election of who should be the leader of the Tory party. Yesterday, the amendment allowing MP's to take authority away from the Government puts a totally different aspect on the whole process and could spell the end of politics as we know it. If I were TM I wouldn't wait till Dec 11th. I would go to the country right now and restore some order to these wayward MP's. They might then listen to what we want not what they think we should have.
The Government took it upon themselves to uphold the referendum decision. TM has got an agreement that will work for the EU and the UK. MP's should respect that and get on with it. Some Tory MP's couldn't get a vote of no confidence so they've gone through the back door. This is what politicians do when they can't get their own way and wish to go against the will of the people. Well you've sown your seed and if you get rid of TM, it will nigh on destroy the Tory party. Have fun.

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By JOhn50
to accountantccole
04th Dec 2018 17:11

Unfortunately not. Remember when 364 economists wrote to Thatcher explaining leaving the ERM was a bad idea? There's a major problem with groupthink in these circles, whether that's programmed by an elite who like consistenty over 5 year plans in their annual reports I don't know.

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to JOhn50
05th Dec 2018 09:11

They are just schmoozing people in high places to get a better job. Think Neil Euromillions Kinnock.

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to Knight Rider
05th Dec 2018 09:37

And his Mrs.

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By DJKL
to Locutus
04th Dec 2018 10:33

There is no experience of someone leaving to fall back on but one can look at the traits of leaving and extrapolate impacts from said traits- so friction on trade and at borders tends to lead to.......?

I am no great supporter of economics ,having studied enough of it at university to go through the repeated, "well what your learned at school was simplistic, here is a more refined view" which was then rinsed and repeated as you progressed up through the university years, but to blindly ignore evidence that friction at borders tends to lead to a reduction in trade and hence a reduction in GDP and hence a reduction in taxes available to pay for services, is pushing one's political beliefs ahead of common sense.

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to johnjenkins
30th Nov 2018 11:47

If that's what you think then you really don't understand JIT logistics.
There will be significant disruption to the flow of goods across borders, this will either increase the costs of stockholding as companies look to mitigate the risks or will result in businesses stopping trading in certain areas where profitability is minimal. (Volume fresh goods importers typically work on a 1-1.5% margin).
Quite apart from that WTO is death for cross border financial services, an area where our glorious leaders have pushed the UK into over the years.
Who do I trust more? Someone who has made a study of economics their life's work or Boris Johnson who managed to blow significant amounts of money not building a bridge and who appears to have no principal he won't sell out for a vote?
I'll go with the 'boffins' thanks.

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to winton50
30th Nov 2018 12:10

Do you really think that Macron et al will allow lorries to be parked up in Calais and Dover? If you do then I'm afraid you have little understanding of the business world. Business will always find a way of working. The EU, as it is, is defunct and hanging on by a thread. Once we have left and other countries realise all the doom and gloom bandied about isn't so bad just watch the EU change their stance (they have to if they want to survive as an entity).

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to winton50
03rd Dec 2018 09:48

Would these be the same 'boffins' who predicted a recession and mass unemployment after the vote when the UK grew and had the lowest unemployment for 40 years?

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30th Nov 2018 11:20

As soon as I saw 9.7% over 15 years I knew that this was the Treasury's dartboard in play. Whatever the outcome looking ahead and predicting this length of time is just a joke. They cant even get one year's figures figures projected correctly even when no Brexit in play.

Just wondering - how many Treasury forecasters are going to resign if they are out by more than 50% - none. Which means that they have not got a clue.

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30th Nov 2018 11:27

Treasury, Hammond, Bank of England, OBR, Call Me Dave, Gideon Osborne Uncle Tom Cobley and all engaged in Project Fear were all proven utterly wrong by economic events post the referendum.

Indeed ALL the current critical UK Economy metrics are totally disparate to their separate and collective forecasts.

Why ought they to be considered correct and accurate now?

Mark Carney's Armageddon forecast only yesterday, of financial collapse, property losing 70% of present value etc etc, is clearly utter slavering nonsense!

How anyone could make any viable forecast when no one even knows what final position will pertain is extremely stupid and makes then a hostage of fortune to their futures...

Unwinding a raft of complex legal demands thanks to the umpteen treaties and agreements Britain has glibly signed off under the past SIX Prime Ministers (which are all referenced and cited in May's Brexit Deal - I actually bothered to search for the full text contained in 585 pages !!!) will take huge effort and input from international lawyers well versed in a specialised branch of law.

I studied the E.E.C. regulations at management school back in 1976 when Britain was in its "Run In Period", as part of my major of International Trade and Finance. One of our part-time external lecturers was the very senior Customs Officer, responsible for negotiating harmonisation and attenuation of customs tariffs under what was called The Brussels Nomenclature. Interesting, he said, as he couldn't speak a word of French!

We do know that the Mandarins of Whitehall are not at all prepared for Brexit since they have been conspiring, covertly, to defeat the move.

I fear the "Experts", above, are all having a Michael Fish moment!

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30th Nov 2018 11:50

So, come on guys, after consulting the oracle at Delphi the Treasury wizz kids come up with -9.7% over 15 years. I calculate that at 0.65% per annum, well within a margin of statistical error.
If I were able to calculate my own or any PLC's performance to this accuracy I would be king of the Stock Exchange.
This is pie in the sky dressed up as steak and chips.

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30th Nov 2018 12:03

Anyone else notice one of the core assumptions was NET ZERO EU migration'. Why? Because it causes the drop in GDP they want to illustrate in the forecasts.

And 3.9% over 15 years? Compounded that's a little over 0.2% per annum.

Compared to recent EU forecasts of 'growth' in the EU, they were out by more than that just forecasting the last quarter!!!

Let's face it, no one knows what the actual impact will be, let's get on with it and push forward.

Too many naysayers and doom mongers in this country these days- all having an opinion but like the Labour party offering no real alternative just soundbites.

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30th Nov 2018 12:41

Treasury, Hammond, Bank of England, OBR, Call Me Dave, Gideon Osborne Uncle Tom Cobley and all engaged in Project Fear were all proven utterly wrong by economic events post the referendum.

Indeed ALL the current critical UK Economy metrics are totally disparate to their separate and collective forecasts.

Why ought they to be considered correct and accurate now?

Mark Carney's Armageddon forecast only yesterday, of financial collapse, property losing 70% of present value etc etc, is clearly utter slavering nonsense!

How anyone could make any viable forecast when no one even knows what final position will pertain is extremely stupid and makes then a hostage of fortune to their futures...

Unwinding a raft of complex legal demands thanks to the umpteen treaties and agreements Britain has glibly signed off under the past SIX Prime Ministers (which are all referenced and cited in May's Brexit Deal - I actually bothered to search for the full text contained in 585 pages !!!) will take huge effort and input from international lawyers well versed in a specialised branch of law.

I studied the E.E.C. regulations at management school back in 1976 when Britain was in its "Run In Period", as part of my major of International Trade and Finance. One of our part-time external lecturers was the very senior Customs Officer, responsible for negotiating harmonisation and attenuation of customs tariffs under what was called The Brussels Nomenclature. Interesting, he said, as he couldn't speak a word of French!

We do know that the Mandarins of Whitehall are not at all prepared for Brexit since they have been conspiring, covertly, to defeat the move.

I fear the "Experts", above, all having a Michael Fish moment!

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30th Nov 2018 13:32

I am a fence sitter as I normally am.

But I have travelled the world (and resided in a number of countries), take an interest in economics, see disaster areas and countries become stars. So....

Per the Treasury (And the arch remainers Hammond and Carney) after Brexit the sun will not rise, the rivers will run dry, pestilence and famine will roam the land and no one will want to trade with us.

Sick of the doom sayers. Get stuck in and we will make a success albeit with adjustments, some which in the short term may make us poorer (and for some happier)

If you talk and believe failure you will fail making your own predictions come true.

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30th Nov 2018 14:33

Junker to Barnier "I see no icebergs".

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30th Nov 2018 14:42

More stuff and nonsense from those that predicted the apocalypse after the referendum and failed to see the financial crisis coming.
Why will there be border delays? Products from outside the EU seem to flow in perfectly well. Will the EU deliberately hold up their exports?
What about Toblerones? Will they be OK coming from outside the EU(Switzerland) or do we need to stock up on these as well as Mars Bars?

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to Knight Rider
30th Nov 2018 15:34

You'll have to ask Mick Jagger about the mars bars. As for toblerones, don't know many people that like them.

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By DJKL
to Knight Rider
04th Dec 2018 10:53

Products from outside the EU often come in to UK in bulk consignments, so x thousand widgets from a ship in one go. The actual number of movements per £1 tends to be far smaller. Supplies from the EU often come in much smaller consignment sizes with far lower average value per consignment- it is the logistics of dealing with the sheer number of consignments that is likely going to be the issue.

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to DJKL
04th Dec 2018 15:43

DJKL - agree on consignment sizes - but who is going to hold up EU consignments and why? If there are hold ups trade will rebalance to other ports/destinations. Or it will be produced in the UK. International traders are not fools they will find a way.

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By DJKL
to Knight Rider
04th Dec 2018 16:42

Well on WTO terms we would need to treat EU and non EU on similar basis, so no checks by UK on EU goods then no checks on non EU goods-taking back control of borders by opening them as wide as possible, really?

Production in UK- maybe eventually. If economic theory is followed (though I thought all economics had been abandoned for the period of Brexit) then good old equilibrium theories and those wonderful supply and demand curves kick in; but remember this is not a smooth if x then y instant process, it tends to be a jerky process, a sticky process, with fixed cost obstacles to things happening (Remember Warren and his Moats), lag times re productivity growth re training labour etc, so you cannot turn off one tap you have used for forty years and expect the old one, unused in that time, to gush at the same rate, it needs to get rid of the sediment etc which may take 10-15-20 years, who knows, uncharted territory;

It had better be worth it is all I can say because if it is not some individuals will never be forgiven,.

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to DJKL
04th Dec 2018 18:30

I hope that the impact on trade from Brexit is minimal - sadly I expect that EU politicians will seek to interrupt trade for political purposes. UK politicians should plan for this rather than appeasing the EU. Leaving the EU was never going to be easy after 45 years.

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to Knight Rider
05th Dec 2018 09:47

I'm pretty sure that most people with a bit of common realises that leaving the EU is no mean feat. However a lot of our politicians are farcical in their approach. Brian Rix would have had a field day.
Yesterday was a bad day for the Tories from which I have doubts if they will recover.
So looks like we have got to get used to Nicola and Jeremy running the country.

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30th Nov 2018 15:53

Blimey, Aweb has gone all Gammon.

I have had several clients leave the UK, or help parts of their business leave the UK due to Brexit worries, and its not even happened yet.

The UK is well under the EU average growth rates in the past couple of years, when we used to be at the top end.

It doesn't seem to me that mad to suggest a no-deal Brexit would shrink the economy given how interlinked we are internationally. Quite how much, no-one knows, but it wont be nothing.

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to ireallyshouldknowthisbut
30th Nov 2018 17:57

Businesses leave the UK all the time,just as new ones arrive. As our balance of trade moves away from the EU towards the rest of the World those EU centric businesses may move there. Chanel by contrast has chosen to move its head office to the UK.
You are correct that the UK has been under average EU growth rates but that is because the former eastern bloc countries have been growing rapidly. Uk performance compared to France,Germany, Italy is reasonable
https://www.imf.org/external/datamapper/[email protected]/OEMDC/ADVEC/WEOWORLD
Real GDP growth (Annual percent change)
2016 2017 2018
France 1.1 2.3 1.6
Germany 2.2 2.5 1.9
Italy 0.9 1.5 1.2
United Kingdom 1.8 1.7 1.4
European Union 2.0 2.7 2.2

I think by a deal most people meant a trade deal and Theresa's sell out is most certainly not that.

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By JOhn50
to ireallyshouldknowthisbut
01st Dec 2018 17:28

I think the EU growth rates were helped by coming to the QE 'party' later than the US and UK. The EU, and especially the Eurozone, have had dreadful economic growth rates previously.

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By JOhn50
to ireallyshouldknowthisbut
01st Dec 2018 17:45

I think the EU growth rates were helped by coming to the QE 'party' later than the US and UK. The EU, and especially the Eurozone, have had dreadful economic growth rates previously.

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By JOhn50
01st Dec 2018 17:25

Refreshing to see some Accountants' views on this rather than the usual watered down rubbish out there to feed the masses! I know that forecasts are reliably unreliable at best but it annoys me that so many of these 'fear' stories concentrate on the short term economic dislocation. Over more years, the effects of leaving will be less pronounced and I feel we should be more worried about other problems like our lack of productivity and national debt!

My vote for 'out' was purely based on a fear (maybe irrational) of political 'creep' and more of our laws being decided in a far off less accountable place. For which I will have to accept a few years of economic turmoil.

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By DJKL
to JOhn50
04th Dec 2018 11:04

In the long term we are all dead; a promised land is all well and good but not sure I will be around to see much of it.

Hate to say that any disruption to our GDP is not going to be great for National Debt and tax increases to try to plug the gap re reduced tax takes if GDP falls are not likely going to be much help re improved productivity.

You cannot disassociate National Debt and productivity from leaving, a pear shaped leave will impact both, so worrying about other problems misses the point.

It is "The economy, stupid" and Brexit is merely following the other Clinton maxim, "Change vs. more of the same" without really knowing where it is going or what it will find when it gets there.

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02nd Dec 2018 11:23

LOCUTUS
Thank you for your note:
But, there is a world of difference between an expert opinion from a medical person or an engineer, or even an accountant.
If those experts get it seriously or negligently wrong, they are personally skewered, and we know it.
If Civil Servants get it wrong mostly they just get moved to another department.

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02nd Dec 2018 11:24

LOCUTUS
Thank you for your note:
But, there is a world of difference between an expert opinion from a medical person or an engineer, or even an accountant.
If those experts get it seriously or negligently wrong, they are personally skewered, and we know it.
If Civil Servants get it wrong mostly they just get moved to another department.

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