Tom Goodenough Tom Goodenough

Brexit U-turns: who is rowing back on their Project Fear warnings?

In the run-up to the referendum, we were warned Brexit would unleash misery. George Osborne suggested a vote for Brexit would lead to a DIY recession. And numerous business bosses and the great and the good piled in to add their warnings to the doom-mongering. Yet in the weeks since the referendum, their predictions of chaos have not come true. What’s more, many of those shouting the loudest about the consequence of Brexit are now furiously rowing back on their warnings. Here, The Spectator compiles the Brexit u-turns and referendum backtracking:

In the aftermath of the vote, many major banks and financial institutions continued to warn that Brexit spelt bad news for the economy. Credit Suisse were among them; in a Treasury report in August, they predicted the UK’s economy would go into recession next year. Now, just weeks later, they’ve cancelled that forecast to suggest instead that the economy would grow by 0.5 per cent next year. Morgan Stanley also cancelled their prediction of a 2017 ‘Brecession’ to offer a similar, more optimistic picture of the UK economic outlook. The investment bank also upped its GDP forecast again this month.

London City Airport‘s boss Declan Collier warned before Brexit that a vote to ‘Leave’ would ‘undermine the free flow of trade and travel’. Yet just a month after the referendum, things were looking much rosier for the airport following the announcement of a £344m expansion. Collier said the news ‘sent a strong message that London and the UK are very much open for business’.

Nissan is one of the most important foreign investors in the UK, so when the carmaker’s boss Carlos Ghosn said that Brexit could cause the company to reconsider its investments in Britain, people sat up and listened. That was in November 2013, yet after the referendum Ghosn has struck a somewhat more positive note about how he is ‘reasonably optimistic’ over Brexit, whatever happens.

Donald Tusk couldn’t have been clearer in making his thoughts known about Brexit in the run-up to the referendum.

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