Amid all the announcements today, it's easy to overlook that the OBR has updated its scenario on a no-deal Brexit. It exposes an undeniably hard reality for the Govt that claims that the UK would "prosper mightily" under no-deal next year.

(Short thread)

1. Key chart: a no-deal/WTO/Australia-style Brexit would delay the point at which econ output regains its pre-virus peak by "almost a year to the third quarter of 2023."

In the upside scenario, this cross-over point could be at the start of 2022; in the downside, in 2025. Grim.
2. Next year, a no deal Brexit would reduce real GDP by around a further 2% - as a result of immediate disruption to the border and uncertainty facing businesses. That's on top of the Covid-related contraction.
3. While there's some short-term border disruption, most of the costs come in the medium term: from lost employment; productivity losses; lower business investment.

Exactly the opposite of what the Chancellor said to @AndrewMarr9 on Sunday.
4. Underneath these numbers, output would fall *below* the Covid levels for several key sectors: Manufacturing, professional services, financial services, retail, energy.

All trade intensive sectors that have been spared the same drop in output as the non-tradables this year.
5. Crucially, the OBR notes, no-deal would have additive effects to the hit by Covid, not replace it (contrary to the popular, but non-sensical narrative in Govt recently). It's a recipe for screwing the outward-facing side of the economy - which has been its engine during Covid
6. Under no-deal, the OBR also expect the inflation to rise by 1% next year - caused by new tariffs and regulatory and customs barriers with the EU.
7. The unemployment numbers are also expected to rise up to 8.3% next year (under the central scenario).
8. By the way, these numbers assume that the lockdown ends on 2 Dec; the test-and-trace system is "partly effective" and the vaccination programme begins next year with "medium-high" success rate. A lot of big assumptions.
9. If there's one undeniable fact from the OBR figures, it's that the UK will not "prosper mightily" under no-deal, as the Prime Minister likes to claim.

It'd be more than an act of self-harm to not agree a trade deal with the EU. It would be a full-blown economic suicide


More from Brexit

Two excellent questions at the end of a very sensible thread summarising the post-Brexit UK FP debate. My own take at attempting to offer an answer - ahead of the IR is as follow:

1. The two versions have a converging point: a tilt to the Indo-pacific doesn’t preclude a role as a convening power on global issues;
2. On the contrary, it underwrites the credibility for leadership on global issues, by seeking to strike two points:

A. Engaging with a part of the world in which world order and global issues are central to security, prosperity, and - not least - values;
B. Propelling the UK towards a more diversified set of economic, political, and security ties;

3. The tilt towards the Indo-Pacific whilst structurally based on a realist perception of the world, it is also deeply multilateral. Central to it is the notion of a Britain that is a convening power.
4. It is as a result a notion that stands on the ability to renew diplomacy;

5. It puts in relation to this a premium on under-utilised formats such as FPDA, 5Eyes, and indeed the Commonwealth - especially South Pacific islands;
6. It equally puts a premium on exploring new bilateral and multilateral formats. On former, Japan, Australia. On latter, Quad;

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