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UK Economics

‘Project Fear is WRONG’ Fuming economist fires at Oxford academic in HUGE row over Brexit

A LEADING economist has ripped into Oxford professor in a heated row over the effects of Brexit, insisting “Project Fear” would “continue to be wrong”.

Gerard Lyons, a co-founder of Economists for Brexit, hit back at Professor Ngaire Woods, an expert on global economic governance at the University of Oxford, after she rubbished the idea Britain could fall back on WTO terms.Mr Lyons insisted Brexit was “good economic news” and slammed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for its “pessimistic” outlook on the EU divorce after it downgraded its forecast for economic growth in Britain.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Professor Woods said: “If the United Kingdom can do 60 trade deals in short order then my gloom would indeed be wrong but that is absolutely impossible.

Gerard Lyons and Ngaire WoodsPOLICY EXCHANGE•WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM            Gerard Lyons and Ngaire Woods clashedon BBC Radio 4’s Today programme


Look, Project Fear continues to work and it’s going to continue to be wrong, this is really irritating for your listeners

Gerard Lyons

“I don’t think there’s anybody, even the most fervent Brexiteer, that would argue that we can actually do that – in other words – that we can replace the huge free market that we have with the EU and the 60 countries that have free trade agreements with it.”The other thing that is absolutely crucial is the whole Brexit case on trade has relied on the idea that we can fall back on WTO terms – we cannot because the British economy, 80 per cent of the British economy relies on services and WTO does not protect our access to services with other countries.”

But Mr Lyons, who worked as Boris Johnson’s chief economic advisor while he was the Mayor of London, fired back.

He said: “Look, Project Fear continues to work and it’s going to continue to be wrong, this is really irritating for your listeners.“The facts of the matter is that the service sector is the important part of the economy, we know that the service sector does not work properly in terms of the single market.

“The outlook for Brexit depends on three things – on the domestic economy, all the data is positive, it depends on our relationship with the EU and it depends on our ability to cut trade deals with the rest of the world.

“And the IMF today is saying the world economy is good and against that backdrop the British economy, which is growing solidly for eight years and remember last July and two years ago in July before Brexit the IMF also cut their forecast for UK growth, they’re far too pessimistic… Brexit is good economic news.”

The row comes after the IMF’s first downgrade for the UK since the Brexit vote with it expecting the British economy to grow by 1.7 per cent this year, 0.3 per cent down from its last prediction in April.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/832289/Gerard-Lyons-fires-at-Oxford-academic-Ngaire-Woods-BBC-radio-4-today-row-Brexit-wto

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