EuropeDriving home last night I was listening to The World Tonight on Radio 4.

They were discussing the leaked report on the three Brexit scenarios. They had Labour’s Barry Gardiner MP and the Tory, Chris Philp MP. I have a lot of time for Barry Gardiner (even if he wears the wrong colour rosette) he always sounds considered and rational and often (but not always) speaks a lot of sense.

There had ben an interesting programme on earlier, Learning from Life and Death, about how Government finds it difficult to experiment and learn from mistakes because they tend to entrench and defend the decision rather than accept the error. learn, improve and move on.

In the discussion about the leaked report, Chris Philp went into full defend the decision mode. These scenarios were only forecasts, the Treasury forecasts are notoriously poor and, anyway, even if the forecasts are correct, UK growth would ‘only fall a small amount – 0.5% from 3.0% to 2.5%’.

Chris Philp was on the Treasury Select Committee. I would hope that someone who was responsible for overseeing HM Treasury would have sufficient grasp of mathematics to know that a 0.5% fall in growth from 3.0% is a 16.66% reduction.   At present the UK economy is growing at 1.5% a year – not much better than Greece. Compare that to France at 2.4%, Germany at 2.8% and the Eurozone as a whole at 2.7%. We’re already growing slower than most of Europe and Brexit is going to make it worse.

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