Hunt rejects OBR forecasts of Brexit hit to UK economy
Forecasts of the economic hit caused by Brexit from the UK’s budgetary watchdog are wrong, according to chancellor Jeremy Hunt.
Hunt today said he doesn’t “accept” predictions by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) that the UK’s economy will be 4 per cent smaller in the medium-term due to Brexit.
Hunt told Sky News that policies he recently announced on regulatory divergence from Brussels, including on ditching the EU’s Solvency II directive on the insurance industry, will help boost the UK’s economic prospects long-term.
Brexit has come back into focus over the past few weeks as the evidence of its effect has begun to be laid bare in official statistics.
The OBR said last week that Brexit will now lead to a 15 per cent hit to the UK’s total value of international trade, while there has been fresh evidence of a movement of
“I think that there are lots of things we can do, actually, things that I announced in my autumn statement when I talked about us becoming the world’s next Silicon Valley, using Brexit freedoms to make sure that we change regulations in areas like the development of new medicines or artificial intelligence, or all the really big things that are going to shape the 21st century,” Hunt said.
“Actually being able to set your own regulations means that you can do some of those things in a way that wouldn’t have been possible inside the EU.”
There are no tariffs on goods for UK-EU trade, however British exporters now face paperwork and red tape when sending their products to the continent.
Recent Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures have shown the UK’s value of trade with EU countries declining faster than with non-EU countries.
The government has been forced this week to slap away suggestions it wants to remove UK-EU trade barriers by copying Switzerland’s deal with the EU.
Switzerland is deeply integrated into the EU’s single market, which gives them frictionless trade and open borders with EU nations, which means they have to accept Brussels-imposed regulations.