The National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR) has issued a doom-laden forecast of life after Brexit, warning of dire economic consequences and ongoing high levels of immigration. But a Guardian report on its forecast fails to mention that NIESR is funded by the European Commission.
In its most recent report, EU membership, financial services and stability, NIESR warns of a whole host of calamities to befall the UK should the British people vote to leave the European Union in June. Skyrocketing prices, a massive devaluation of the pound, and no end in sight to high immigration are all listed as likely outcomes.
The report has been seized upon by the Guardian which, bills the think tank as “Britain’s longest-established independent research institute,” and quotes it as saying: “Inflation would jump dramatically as sterling depreciates, investment would plummet and consumer spending would be hit by lower real incomes.”
Yet no-where in this ominous picture does the Guardian mention that NIESR is partially funded by the European Commission and the British government, both of which are in favour of Britain remaining within the EU.
NIESR also receives funding from the Economic and Social Research Council, which in turn receives EU funding.
The think tank employs 35 research staff, 14 visiting fellows and eight support staff, and has an annual turnover approximately £3 million. According to its website, the think tank, also a registered charity, does not receive direct government funding but admits undertaking research commissioned “from a variety of sources” including “government departments and agencies” and “the European Commission.”
Last month a separate group of economists made the case for leaving the EU on economic grounds, arguing that a Brexit would lead to higher output, higher wages and an increase in international trade.
“To date, debate on the economic merits of whether the UK should remain in the EU has become overwhelmed by the government’s ‘project fear’ campaign,” they said.