Brexit worse for UK economy than Covid pandemic, says OBR | Brexit

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Brexit’s impact on Britain’s economy will be worse than that caused by the pandemic, according to the chairman of Britain’s fiscal watchdog.

Richard Hughes said the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) had assumed that leaving the EU “would reduce our long-term GDP by around 4%”, adding in comments to the BBC: “We believe the effect of the pandemic will reduce this (GDP) production by an additional 2%.

Gross domestic product – or GDP – is a measure of the size of the economy.

“In the long term, it is true that Brexit has a bigger impact than the pandemic,” Hughes told the broadcaster, hours after the OBR responded to Rishi Sunak’s latest budget saying he expected for inflation to hit 4.4% while warning it could hit “the highest rate seen in the UK for three decades”.

It came as Downing Street vowed to retaliate against France if Paris goes ahead with a ‘disappointing and disproportionate’ threat to impose sanctions in an escalation of a row over fishing boats.

The French government has dramatically warned that it will block British vessels from certain ports next week if the post-Brexit dispute over fishing licenses is not resolved.

Paris has even gone so far as to suggest it could restrict energy supplies to the Channel Islands if no deal is struck with the UK as relations since leaving the EU have deteriorated further.

Number 10 said the threats did not appear compatible with “international law” and promised an “appropriate and calibrated response” if Paris did not back down.

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