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EU Referendum

Top economist calls for Osborne to RESIGN after Brexit vote amid ‘deceitful’ fearmongering

A LEADING economist today called for George Osborne to resign after the EU referendum following the Treasury’s “politically criminal” analysis of the impact of a Brexit vote.

George Osborne

GETTY   George Osborne claims quitting the EU could plunge Britain into a year-long recession


Professor Patrick Minford, a former advisor to the Treasury, hit out after the Chancellor’s team today published their assessment of the short-term economic impact of leaving the EU.The Cardiff University academic branded the 83-page document “intellectually deceitful and politically deceitful” with the Treasury having “gone into the gutter” with their “shock and horror” report.

Asked by Express.co.uk if leading economists could continue to have confidence in Mr Osborne beyond the EU referendum on June 23, Professor Minford said: “The big problem for the Chancellor if we vote for Brexit is that he will think it’s going to be a disaster.

“Therefore I don’t think one could have any confidence that he would handle it right.

“You have to have somebody in charge who actually believes in the situation and how it can be dealt with so I think there would have to be a change.”

In the Treasury document Mr Osborne has warned of a “self-inflicted blow to living standards and aspirations of the British people” that would result from quitting the EU.Supporting his close political ally, Prime Minister David Cameron said a Brexit vote would spark a “DIY recession”.

The Treasury analysis of the short-term impact of withdrawal from the EU claims Britain would be plunged into a year-long economic downturn.

The civil servants’ report adds between 520,000 and 820,000 jobs would be lost, house prices would fall by between 10 per cent and 18 per cent, and public sector borrowing would rocket by between £24 billion and £39 billion.

It is also claimed GDP could plummet by as much as six per cent.

PA   David Cameron teamed up with the Chancellor to make the doom-laden forecast today


But Professor Minford, a leading Brexit supporter, trashed the Treasury document as “completely irresponsible”.

Appearing at a Politeia event alongside Tory MPs John Redwood and Peter Lilley, the academic said the Treasury’s “whole methodology is pretty badly founded”.

Professor Minford said the Treasury’s short-term assessment of Brexit was always bound to be wrong because their previous long-term analysis of the impact of leaving the EU – on which the new document is based – was “deliberately deceitful”.

He also said the uncertainty of a Brexit vote, on which the Treasury have based much of their doom-laden forecast, would “quickly dissipate” once the EU referendum is decided.

Professor Minford also argued the Treasury themselves are causing the most uncertainty with their downcast assessments.

He said: “They’re going around saying the economy’s going to be crap after Brexit. Then they’ll have to run it after Brexit happens, which of course it may well do.”

He added after Brexit the current uncertainty caused by the EU referendum will be viewed as “a big fuss over something that’s pretty good.”

The economist said if Britain pursued a free trade agenda after Brexit prices could fall as much as 20 per cent.Professor Minford also accused the Treasury of an “astonishing” and “crazy” assumption that Britain would keep all the same trade tariffs post-Brexit that are currently put on UK goods as an EU member.

Professor Minford said this “assumes you are a complete lunatic” as he branded the notion a bit of “Mickey Finn” slipped into the Treasury analysis to forecast a negative GDP result post-Brexit.

He said: “What the Treasury have done, in my opinion, is two intellectually criminal things.

“And also I think politically criminal, they have actually deceived the British people deliberately by making this entirely false assumption.”

He added: “This is intellectually disgraceful, politically deceitful and totally irresponsible by the ministry that is supposed to be running the British economy and will be responsible for it after this Brexit vote, which could go, as they know, either way.”

Professor Minford said his former employer had “gone into the gutter” with such a “cynical approach”.Also arguing for a Brexit vote on June 23, Mr Redwood claimed Britons would be “better Europeans” by quitting the EU.

The former Cabinet minister said it was “becoming increasingly” difficult for the UK to be in an organisation driven by the euro single currency, a drive for political union and a desire to establish a borderless continent.Mr Redwood said these are all things the Government is “trying to avoid being part of”, adding: “It would be a more honest relationship to be outside.

“To be friends, allies, traders with them but not be trying to slow down the crucial elements of the strategy of the EU.”

http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/673032/EU-referendum-economist-Patrick-Minford-George-Osborne-Brexit-resign-Treasury-analysis

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