Jeremy Hunt has denied predictions from his own economic watchdog and said he does not accept that Brexit is “making us poorer”.
In a heated interview, the Chancellor was confronted with his watchdog’s analysis that leaving the EU will mean a loss of £100bn in output and £40bn in revenue by the end of the day. end of the decade.
But Mr Hunt, asked about this analysis by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) of a 4% fall in GDP, replied: “I do not accept the 4%”.
When reported to accept other OBR forecasts, he said: ‘I don’t have to accept all of them’, adding: ‘I accept any that I agree with .”
The Chancellor acknowledged that the “transition” to new trading relationships was causing “difficulties for some businesses”, but argued that “the opportunities of Brexit” could overcome them.
“I do not accept that the long-term impact of this decision [leaving the EU] will be to impoverish us,” he said. Sky News.
Mr Hunt insisted ‘Brexit is not the problem’ as Britain enters what is expected to be a recession of up to two years which will bring living standards back to levels of 2013.
Negotiating closer trade ties with Brussels – like the ‘Swiss-style deal’ that Rishi Sunak rejected this week – would prevent the UK ‘from becoming the world’s next Silicon Valley, which is my long-term plan’ , did he declare.
The comments come after Michael Gove was criticized for failing to name a single Brexit change that has ‘made it easier to do business’, amid growing criticism of the trade deal’s economic damage.
Instead, Leave’s leading campaigner pointed to Common Agricultural Policy reform and gene editing, as well as the freedom to make “our air cleaner, our soil tougher”.
Mr Hunt claimed the “vast majority” of punitive cross-Channel trade barriers can be removed in the coming years, but did not explain how.
The OBR has always predicted that a projected 15% drop in trade will lead to a 4% drop in GDP over the medium term, double the economic damage of the Covid pandemic.
But the chancellor said Sky News the loss is “what the OBR projects if we do nothing else to take advantage of Brexit opportunities”.
He pointed to efforts to “invest in the skills of our own people, reduce pressures on migration” as policies to mitigate the damage – although net migration has reached record highs.
“We’re going to forge a different economy outside the European Union, high skills, high wages, the next Silicon Valley of the world, and with our own regulations,” Hunt said.
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