Brexit Britain leading the way – Britons told ‘expect more good news’ in 2022

Andrew Bailey: There is ‘high level of uncertainty in economy’

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The UK is heading for a year of economic recovery, free trade and innovation, according to two British economists. It comes as this week brought a series of welcome announcements.

On Monday, the British Film Institute (BFI) announced that a record £4.14bn had been spent making television programmes in the UK in 2021.

The BFI said that the new high, between October 2020 and September 2021, was almost double the £2.3bn spent in the year leading up to the coronavirus pandemic.

Also announced this week was the news that Europe’s largest battery storage system will be built in Teesside.

Sembcorp Industries said the battery will be able to supply power to the national grid in milliseconds, with the aim of helping maintain a stable energy network and to support net zero transition.

Patrick Minford, chair of Applied Economics at Cardiff University, told “I think those announcements are good.

“I think that Britain is an enormously promising place. I think that there’s a great future for the British economy, and it’s historically always been a great economy.”

He continued: “We’ve always been a tremendously innovative economy. The whole vaccine process has demonstrated, again, how innovative our scientists and our industry is.

Professor Minford added: “There’s still a great British economy out there with tremendous capacity to innovate.”

Meanwhile, Julian Jessop, an independent economist, commented that the “fundamentals of the UK economy are still pretty strong” after the coronavirus pandemic, rising inflation and global shortages.

Asked about the two announcements this week, Mr Jessop said: “You can always wonder whether those sorts of things would have happened anyway, without Brexit.

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“And also, you have to wonder whether there’s some sort of additional money that the Government’s had to pay to get companies to come here rather than rather than go abroad.

“So I wouldn’t necessarily trumpet those as huge successes of Brexit.

“But what I think we can say is that Brexit has not been the disaster that that many people warned.

“That, you know, the economy has actually held up pretty well; there’s been a hit to trade, but that that hit may only be temporary.

“Investment is starting to come back. And this is even before the Government has made any great effort to exploit the benefits of Brexit.

Mr Jessop, who was previously the Chief Economist for the Insititute of Economic Affairs, added: “The cost of Brexit will always likely be immediate and upfront and pretty visible – so the increase in trade barriers with the EU.

“The benefits will take longer to come through; those will be the trade deals with the rest of the world. That’s the better regulation at home.”

On the economic outlook for the new year, Mr Jessop said: “I think we’re going to get continued recovery next year.

“I think there’ll be bumps in the road and Omicron is clearly one of them. Another spike in the cost of living or continued cost of living crisis for many households, is another.

“But I think the fundamentals of the UK economy are still pretty strong.”

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