New Brexiteer job claims lashed by TUC blog

Britain can create 400,000 jobs if it leaves the EU customs union and concludes trade deals with just eight countries, according to the Change Britain think tank which is backed by former minister Michael Gove. In fact, it claims a hard Brexit would benefit the British economy to the tune of £450 million a week. Rubbish, says the TUC blog Touchstone which reminds readers of the claim that the NHS could benefit from Brexit to the tune of £350 million a week. Its favourite claim is that “… once we leave the EU we will benefit from new trade deals with Korea (we’ve already got one) or Japan (about to be signed.) This takes ‘double counting’ (or a total lack of knowledge about trade agreements) to new heights.

The Guardian reports that Jonathan Portes, professor of economics and senior fellow at the thinktank UK in a Changing Europe, called the report’s figures “entirely fictional statistics” and said they did not take into account possible downside risks of leaving the customs union.

“Successful free trade deals would increase both exports and imports,” he said. “Calculating, as Change Britain does, a speculative figure for the number of jobs created by additional exports while ignoring the jobs lost as a result of additional imports is either deeply ignorant or deliberately misleading.”