Germany, the European Union’s economic powerhouse, will only grow by 1.3 per cent as it struggles with the consequences of the migrant crisis; behind stagnant France on 1.4 per cent and not too far ahead of crisis-wrecked Italy on 1.1 per cent.
The situation in the Eurozone may, in fact, turn out significantly worse, with Jim Mellon, the Leave.EU co-founder described as ‘Britain’s Warren Buffet’, predicting that the single currency will finally go into meltdown in the coming years.
The report, commissioned by the County Councils Network (CCN), goes on to suggest that Britain could achieve even better growth – as high as 2.7 per cent per year – if Whitehall delivers sweeping new powers over spending and taxation to local government.
CCN, which describes the English counties as “sleeping giants” just waiting for their economic potential to be unleashed, believes over a million new jobs could be created over a ten-year period, £26.3 billion added to the national economy in tandem with public sector savings of £11.7 billion over a five-year period.
Elaborating on this theme, Holt explained that “Local economies covered by the County Council Network account for over half of England’s manufacturing output and almost 40 per cent of exports.
That makes the CCN economy an important constituent of the whole — big enough not just to be influenced by, but to heavily influence overall economic activity in the UK.
To be effective the Industrial Strategy and the next phase of devolution should seek to build on that.
Anti-Brexit forecasters have taken a number of hard knocks since the Remain campaign was defeated at the polls, with ten of them forced to tear up their pre-referendum forecasts and Treasury reports prepared under George Osborne debunked as “very flawed and very partisan”.
Bank of England chief economist Andrew Haldane has gone so far as to describe Britain’s strong economic performance “despite Brexit” as a Michael Fish moment for the economics profession.