Blog: ‘UK’s economic crisis has been made worse by Brexit,’ says former official – LBC

‘UK’s economic crisis has been made worse by Brexit,’ says former official

14 January 2023, 13:03 | Updated: 14 January 2023, 13:09

Inflation and the cost-of-living crisis – both of which are also linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – have been made worse by the cost of Brexit, according to the Ex-Secretary of the Department for Exiting the EU.

In a discussion with Matt Frei, Philip Rycroft said there was “undoubtedly” a link between the UK’s current economic turmoil and the cost of leaving the EU.

“There’s a new cost of doing business with a major market and there haven’t been enough compensatory benefits elsewhere,” he explained to Matt.

The Ex-Secretary also pointed out the while the UK has forged new trade deals with Australia and New Zealand, the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) predicted that, over time, the cost of Brexit will be a 4% hit on Britain’s economic prosperity.

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He referenced new trade deals the UK has forged with Australia and Japan, both of which are worth than less than 1% of the country’s GDP, which Matt responded are “tiny, tiny numbers.”

“All the other deals we’ve done have been rollover deals from our time in the EU,” Philip Rycroft explained. “The world’s not a big enough place to get enough deals to compensate for cost of changed relationship with our biggest, most important market.”

He reflected that Brexit had delivered on some of what was promised during the referendum, saying since leaving the EU “we’ve taken back control.”

Matt interrupted to clarify that this came “at a price we were never warned about by the Brexiteers at the time,” and Philip Rycroft conceded that “anyone who thought Brexit was going to deliver an economic bonanza has questions to ask.”

Matt concluded by asking whether it was a surprise that politicians, specifically the Labour Party, didn’t seem to be talking about the effects of Brexit more explicitly.

Rycroft replied that he wasn’t surprised when considering “the politics of it,” adding that Keir Starmer and the Labour Party “feel like they’re walking on eggshells” around the topic.

But he said that the long-term impacts of Brexit can’t be ignored forever:

“we will have to get back to talking about this. We can’t move the UK physically away from Europe so we’re going to have to sort out our relationship over time.”

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