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In the article I recently co-authored for the NIESR November Review I explored the reasons why negotiating the UK’s future trade arrangements is a massive job. There are the main points I raised.
I start this new series of end-of-the-week blogposts with a small confession. Many years ago I was at the Bank of England working in monetary analysis the day that operational independence was granted by the incoming Labour administration.
More than four months after the referendum result to leave the European Union, there are still big question marks around what the UK’s future outside the European Union will look like.
In the aftermath of June 2016 EU Referendum result the majority of attention has focused on what might be future economic relationship between the UK and the EU and the prospects for the UK’s trade relationships with third countries once outside the EU. None of the proposed models for the future trade policy relationship between the UK and the EU (for example, membership of the European Economic Area or a Free Trade agreement) come with a defined foreign and security policy relationship.
There is no shortage of advice to women, on how to manage our careers and body clocks, strive for work-life balance, ‘lean in’ and have it all. Sometimes it feels as if everyone has an opinion about how working women should organise their lives, and some of the advice can feel difficult to live up to.
Today’s GDP figures suggest that the immediate economic impact of the Brexit vote has, at least up until September, been modest. Contrary to most forecasts, there isn’t much evidence to suggest that increased uncertainty has, as yet, translated into reduced consumer spending or business activity. Of course, this says almost nothing at all about the long-term economic impacts of Brexit; and it is that is the focus of most of the serious independent analysis of the impact of Brexit. Recession is bad, but a permanent long-term hit to growth is worse. .
NIESR has been in the news quite a bit in the last 24 hours following the publication of a set of reports on the Troubled Families Programme. The Programme was launched in 2012 with a budget of £448m to tackle around 120.000 problem families who were said by the Government to cost taxpayers £9bn a year.
Almost half a century ago, Prime Minister Harold Wilson told the country: "From now the pound abroad is worth 14% or so less in terms of other currencies. It does not mean, of course, that the pound here in Britain, in your pocket or purse or in your bank, has been devalued.”
Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, said almost nothing on the Andrew Marr show today. Given that there is currently almost a complete policy vacuum in government, this was entirely sensible. However, her comments – following Theresa May’s last week – are being reported as a further endorsement of a “work permit” system for economic migration versus the “points-based” one proposed by Vote Leave during the referendum campaign.
As previous readers of my blogs on this topic will know, for much of the last year I (along with Michael O’Connor) have been pressing HMRC and DWP to release more data on how many National Insurance numbers issued to EU nationals are actually in use. Last Thursday, we edged closer to an answer.
With the decision to leave the EU, there has been much discussion about whether the UK will enter recession. This blog provides some information of the frequency of recessions in recent UK economic history, and puts into context the probability of recession in the aftermath of the referendum.
What do today’s labour market statistics tell us about what’s going to happen to the UK labour market as a result of the referendum result? On the face of it, not much. The headline figures for employment, unemployment and so on are based on Labour Force Survey data for the months for April to June (and the changes are calculated with respect to the three months prior to that). The “single month” statistics do show a small uptick in unemployment (from its April low of 4.8% to 5.1%) - but these numbers are volatile, which is why the ONS doesn’t use them as the headline.
This is a guest blog by Richard Disney, Professor of Economics at the University of Sussex, A Visiting Professor in the Department of Economics, University College, London, and a Research Fellow of the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
[This is my contribution to the VoxEU e-book "Brexit Beckons: Thinking Ahead by leading economists", which is available for (free) download here. It is edited by Richard Baldwin and includes contributions from my NIESR colleague Angus Armstrong and many others]
One reason for the UK leaving the EU was the promise of ‘taking back control’ of trade policy. The UK would give up its influence and vote on EU policies in return for the freedom to negotiate its own trade agreements with countries around the world.
A month ago, I, along with several of my colleagues from the UK in a Changing Europe programme, other academics, and politicians from both the Leave and Remain campaign, signed a letter to the Daily Telegraph calling on the government to guarantee the rights of EU citizens currently living in the UK:
The UK’s decision to leave the EU is a watershed event. It may bring to an end the free movement of labour and limit the free trade of goods and services between the UK and EU. This follows hot on the heels of the fragmentation of international finance in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. How world leaders respond will determine whether Brexit is a set-back to globalisation, or part of deeper retrenchment.