Brexit doom-mongers crushed as UK consumer confidence up by most in a decade

PMQs: Boris Johnson slams Keir Starmer over Brexit stance

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While the UK formally left the EU in January 2020 it remained closely tied to the bloc until the end of December. At this point Boris Johnson’s new Brexit trade agreement took effect restoring Britain as a fully independent trading nation.

Claims this would cause economic turmoil appear overstated as a survey by Deloitte found consumer confidence has reached a ten-year high.

According to Deloitte in the first quarter of 2021 consumer confidence rose by 6 points to -11 percent.

This calculates as the percentage of consumers who claim their level of confidence increased over the past three months.

Deloitte attributed this rise to Britain’s successful coronavirus vaccination programme with the Government hoping to remove the remaining lockdown restrictions by June 21.

Ian Stewart, chief economist at Deloitte, predicted Britain will see a surge in economic activity.

He commented: “The UK is primed for a sharp snap back in consumer activity.

“High levels of saving, the successful vaccination rollout and the easing of the lockdown set the stage for a surge in spending over the coming months.”

On Sunday Goldman Sachs predicted the British economy will grow by a “striking” 7.8 percent this year.

In 2020 the UK economy shrunk by 9.9 percent, the biggest annual fall since the Great Frost of 1709.

The latest Goldman Sachs forecast puts UK economic growth ahead of the US, which the company projects will rise by 7.2 percent this year.

On Saturday Ben Broadbent, deputy governor of the Bank of England, said he expects “very rapid growth at least over the next couple of quarters” as Britain comes out of lockdown.

Indoor hospitality will be permitted in England from May 17, though for maximum groups of six people or two households.

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After a fall in January, attributed to Brexit stockpiling and coronavirus, freight flows through the Channel Tunnel returned to normal levels in February.

The Tunnel recorded 99 percent of the roll-on roll-off lorry traffic it saw in 2020.

A Government source told the BBC they are “pleased that overall flows are back to normal”.

Speaking in 2016 then Prime Minister David Cameron claimed leaving the EU would “put a bomb under our economy”.

He added: “Do not let them persuade you of this reckless course for our country.”

However the latest figures show Britain is on course for an economic boom in its first full year outside the EU.

Between January and December 2020 the UK remained in a Brexit transition period.

During this time it remained part of the European single market and continued to pay into the EU budget.

The UK also carried on implementing many laws that had been made in Brussels.

Much of the EU is suffering from a third coronavirus wave due to its sluggish vaccine rollout, with fresh lockdowns in France, Germany and Italy.
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