The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has u-turned on its dire Brexit predictions, admitting that “quality of life” in Britain will, in fact, “probably remain to a very great extent as it is today”.
Prior to Britain’s referendum on membership of the bloc, the OECD was one of several prestigious institutions, global bodies, and think tanks to warn that a Leave vote would have a severe impact on the British economy during the referendum campaign.
“A decision to exit would result in … substantial negative consequences for the UK, the EU and the rest of the world,” it asserted in June 2016.
OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria even warned of an effective “Brexit tax” on people’s living standards. But the Mexican politician now confesses: “The quality of life [in Britain after Brexit], you know, will probably remain to a very great extent as it is today, because the values will remain the same,” according to a report in The Sun newspaper.
UK manufacturers report strongest order books for 30 years, driven by food, drink, tobacco and chemicals — CBI industrial trends survey.
— Andrew Neil (@afneil) June 22, 2017
The OECD is not the first institution of its kind to be forced into a climbdown after its Brexit predictions proved faulty.
Treasury reports produced at the behest of George Osborne, the former chancellor of the exchequer branded Project Fear’s “Scaremonger-General” by Brexit campaigners, were exposed as “very flawed and very partisan” after the job losses and recession they promised in the event of a Leave vote failed to materialise.
— DW News (@dwnews) May 17, 2017
Bank of England chief economist Andrew Haldane has also conceded the various anti-Brexit prophecies offered up by his profession proved to be a “Michael Fish moment“.
The International Monetary Fund, too, has had to revise its “doom-laden predictions” repeatedly.
— EY UKI (@EY_UKI) May 22, 2017
In fact, all of the forecasters followed by the Treasury had torn up their “gloomy” Brexit predictions by September 2016.
Whilst the pound has fallen and inflation has increased slightly, economic heavyweights such as former Bank of England governor Mervyn King and IMF director Ashoka Mody believe these are actually positive signs.
Mody described the cheaper pound as “desirable from every point of view”, in October 2016. He added that, in his view, “The UK economy is rebalancing amazingly well [and] it is a stunning achievement that a once-in-fifty-year event should have gone so smoothly.”
“During the referendum campaign, someone said the real danger of Brexit is you’ll end up with higher interest rates, lower house prices and a lower exchange rate, and I thought: dream on,” added King.
“[T]hat’s what we’ve been trying to achieve for the past three years and now we have a chance of getting it.”