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No apocalypse after Brexit vote

Those who predicted economic apocalypse if the Brits voted for out on June 23 last year were wrong

By: N. Peter Kramer - Posted: Thursday, February 2, 2017

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It looks like British Prime Minister Theresa May can pull the trigger for Article 50 in the beginning of March. Then the real task begins. The forthcoming negotiations could get ‘nasty and acrimonious’. Don’t underestimate the rancour and thirst of revenge on EU side. The result of the Brexit referendum was for Europhiles and Eurocrats a slap in the face.
It looks like British Prime Minister Theresa May can pull the trigger for Article 50 in the beginning of March. Then the real task begins. The forthcoming negotiations could get ‘nasty and acrimonious’. Don’t underestimate the rancour and thirst of revenge on EU side. The result of the Brexit referendum was for Europhiles and Eurocrats a slap in the face.

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by N. Peter Kramer

The list includes then finance minister George Osborn, the Bank of England, the International Monetary Fund, and who not in the Brussels EU ‘bubble’. The fact is that despite all the predictions of doom and gloom, in 2016 the UK was the fast growing major advanced economy in the world and left other G7 economies in the dust.

Thanks to a stronger-than-expected fourth quarter, Britain notched up a 2 percent annual growth in 2016, true below the 2.2 percent in 2015, but still enough to beat the other major economies. The biggest driver was the services sector, and in particular consumer-facing industries such as retail sales and travel. There is no Brexit effect, at least no negative one. 

Manufacturing didn’t seem to benefit from the fall of the pound in the fourth quarter. This decline has not helped to boost UK’s trade position or boost manufacturing production, which fell a 1 percent at the end of last year. But services which make up nearly 80 percent of the UK economy are powering ahead regardless of the pessimistic predictions.

Looking ahead, consumers’ willingness to spend and to borrow will determine the next months. The British Bankers’ Association sounds pessimistic, ‘we have seen high levels of consumer and business borrowing in December, although there are early indications that 2017 could see softer demand for credit from business and households, as they anticipate future interest rate rises and wait for further clarity on Brexit’.

It looks like British Prime Minister Theresa May can pull the trigger for Article 50 in the beginning of March. Then the real task begins. The forthcoming negotiations could get ‘nasty and acrimonious’. Don’t underestimate the rancour and thirst of revenge on EU side. The result of the Brexit referendum was for Europhiles and Eurocrats a slap in the face. 

Better to listen to British MP Jacob Rees-Mogg. He said during the debate in the House of Commons, that the referendum day, 23 June 2016, will ran alongside the battles of Agincourt and Waterloo in the ‘annals of British history’. Hear, hear.

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