How Economists for Brexit defy the laws of gravity – and why the BBC should be challenged for failing to mention it

Last Updated: August 20, 2017By Tags: , , , , ,

[Image: Getty].

This is the rebuttal of Patrick Minford’s claims about ‘hard’ Brexit that the BBC failed to mention in its recent report. 

It is important for the public to understand that the supposedly-impartial BBC is now force-feeding us propaganda.

Why? Just watch the following:

Here’s a snatch of the article:

The possibility of the UK leaving the European Union (EU) has generated an unusual degree of consensus among economists. Acrimony and rancour surrounded debates around austerity and joining the euro, but analysis from the Bank of England to the OECD to academia has all concluded that Brexit would make us economically worse off. The disagreement is mainly over the degree of impoverishment (for example, Dhingra et al, 2016a; OECD, 2016; HM Treasury, 2016; PWC, 2016; NIESR, 2016).

Perhaps the one exception is the recent and much publicised work of ‘Economists for Brexit’ (2016). Since any coherent economic case for leaving the EU was been largely ‘missing in action’, it is refreshing to get some clarity over the Leave campaign’s vision of the UK’s post-Brexit economic arrangements.

The only modelling details provided by Economists for Brexit come from Professor Patrick Minford of Cardiff University (Minford, 2015; 2016; Minford et al, 2016). He argues that Brexit will raise the UK’s welfare by 4 per cent as a result of increased trade. So where exactly does he get his numbers from and why are they so different?

Minford’s model is inconsistent with two basic facts about international trade: first, that trade satisfies the gravity equation; and second, that the EU has been trade-creating, not simply a tool for trade diversion.

This implies that the model will give very unreliable predictions of the consequences of Brexit for trade and living standards. When we analyse the same scenario considered by Minford using a more realistic assessment of how UK ‘unilateral trade liberalisation’ could actually work, we find (alongside just about everyone else) that Brexit still leads to a decline in UK living standards.

Read more: The ‘Britain Alone’ scenario: how Economists for Brexit defy the laws of gravity | British Politics and Policy at LSE

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