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An inconvenient opinion

For Henry Smith, happy days are here again. A thrusting UK economy will “blow the socks” off the world through its sheer (unprecedented) dynamism.

His chosen authorities indicate something else. I suggest if his glass is “brimming over” he should pop it on the coffee table un-quaffed, and check.

The IMF is predicting historically low (moderate) growth for the coming years, conditional on reaching a broad free trade agreement with the EU and a smooth Brexit process.

And the comparison with other EU countries, whose growth will be even worse? The UK growth starting point was much lower. Relative improvement of course looks better. Overall the predicted growth is still dire.

CBI? As the CBI were reporting some growth in confidence, they also reported, in the same document, poor activity and falling output volumes. In any case CBI confidence results go wildly up and down like a roller coaster. And, inconveniently for Henry, the CBI are desperate for alignment with EU rules.

A Cambridge Academic? “The vast majority of 85 leading economists polled by the Financial Times predicted there would be little or no improvement in economic growth this year as chronically weak productivity persists.

Peter Smith, Woodside Avenue, Swindon

No upsides to Brexit

As the hangovers fade away and the balloons are taken down, history will judge last Friday, a black day for our nation.

We will progressively realise that there are no upsides to this decision, beyond healing a long time nagging sore in the Tory Party.

There may be a short term ‘bounce’ as venture capitalists and equity fund managers take profits. There may even be a small currency recovery but it will not last.

All of the frustrations which caused middle England and working class communities in the north, East Anglia and South Wales to vote out, are still there today. It was as misguided as it was convenient to blame the EU and seize on the illusory benefits of leaving.

People will slowly come to understand that responsibility for our ills rest with us, our politics, and Politicians of all persuasions, who are driven by short-termism, a thirst for power and their own careers and egos viz the present PM.

Johnson’s latest promise, to spend, spend, spend on the regions, will inevitably prove to be made of straw, as the damage to be inflicted on our economy will in practice mean precisely the opposite.

When you ask Brexiteers what is different today from last week, they look bewildered or confused. Those that do answer might say:

We can make our own laws? … OK, but ask which laws they are referring to and answer will come there none.

Well, we will get our fishing industry back? … Umm no, Johnson has already promised EU vessels access to our waters.

Well we will be able to control immigration? Seemingly no, Last year 181,000 net incoming migrants came from the Sub-Continent, China the Middle East and the rest of the world. We already have complete control over this.

The net figure from Europe was tiny and farmers have already said this downward trend from Europe must quickly be reversed.

The tragedy is that had we returned sensible and constructive MEP’s rather than those only interested in wheel barrows of EU pay, expenses and pension pots, things could have been so different.

John Stooke, Haydon End, Swindon

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