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Brexit’s impact on economy worse than Covid pandemic – OBR

·2 min read
Brexit’s impact on economy worse than Covid pandemic – OBR

Brexit will damage Britain’s economy more than the Covid-19 pandemic which plunged the country into three lockdowns, a fiscal watchdog chief has said.

Richard Hughes, chairman of the Office for Budget Responsibility, said it had assumed that leaving the EU would “reduce our long run GDP by around four per cent”.

Speaking to the BBC, he added: “We think that the effect of the pandemic will reduce that (GDP) output by a further two per cent.

“In the long term it is the case that Brexit has a bigger impact than the pandemic.”

Gross domestic product, or GDP, is a measure of the size of the economy.

Mr Hughes told the broadcaster hours after the OBR responded to Rishi Sunak’s latest Budget by saying it expected inflation to reach 4.4 per cent while warning it could hit “the highest rate seen in the UK for three decades”.

It came as Downing Street vowed to retaliate against France if Paris goes ahead with a “disappointing and disproportionate” threat to impose sanctions in an escalation of a row over fishing boats.

France has seized a British trawler fishing in its territorial waters without a licence and issued a verbal warning to a second vessel, amid an increasingly bitter row over access to fishing grounds after Brexit.

The French Government dramatically warned it will block British vessels from some ports next week if the post-Brexit dispute over fishing licences is not resolved.

Paris even went as far as suggesting it could restrict energy supplies to the Channel Islands if no deal is reached with the UK as relations since the EU departure further soured.

No 10 said the threats do not seem to be compatible with “international law” and vowed an “appropriate and calibrated response” if Paris does not back down.

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