Blog: ‘Brexit is FIASCO’ BBC’s Freedland erupts at ‘self-inflicted wound’ over economy forecast – Express

Jonathan Freedland insisted Brexit had left the United Kingdom facing a harder time out of the coronavirus pandemic due to the economic impact of leaving the European Union. The BBC presenter cited forecasts from the Office of Budget Responsibility suggesting the UK would experience lower growth compared to the rest of the bloc. He branded the aftermath of Brexit “a fiasco” as he lamented the “friction” the new arrangements with the bloc had caused to trade.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5’s Nicky Campbell, Mr Freedman said: “I’m talking about the implications of the implementation of it.

“It’s a fiasco, it’s a disaster for the country.

“You have the Government’s own Office for Budget Responsibility estimating that Brexit will reduce the country’s output, its GDP, by 4 percent which is twice the impact or damage of the pandemic.

“This was a self-inflicted wound and there’s a reason why Britain is lagging behind in growth now, after the immediate hit of the pandemic, compared to other countries in the European Union.”

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He added: “It has cost us a huge amount, people involved in it, supporting the bureaucracy, the form-filling, the checks they now have to do…this is a huge drag and it causes friction on trade.”

The OBR in March forecast Britain’s international trade will remain 15 percent less than when still in the European Union.

Chairman Richard Hughes said the forecast was based on the assumption the intensity of trade would fall and the economy would become “less open.”

Mr Hughes said: “Trade as a share of GDP has fallen by around 12 percent since 2019 which is about two-and-a-half times more than in any other G7 country.

“Overall UK trade volumes are down by about 15 percent compared to what would have happened if we had stayed in the EU, because we have made it more expensive to trade with our single largest trading partner.”

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