Project Cheer !

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Sep 10, 2016 Comments Off on Project Cheer ! John Butler


Since the ‘Leave’ vote was announced on BBC News (‘Doomwatch UK’) 24th June, in tones more appropriate to a state funeral, it’s rather remarkable how the world hasn’t come to an end after all.

In fact Britain’s been doing rather well since then:

‘Countries which have so far signalled they would like to open talks with the UK over a trade deal include: the USA, China, India, the EFTA nations (Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea, Mexico, Ghana and Germany …’ (Independence Daily News, 7th July)

‘Swiss bankers are seeking an alliance with the City of London in the wake of the vote to leave the EU. In a sign that the rest of the world will carry on doing business with Britain, the Swiss Bankers Association hopes to build a coalition with other financial centres outside the EU. It is proposing a so-called F4 alliance, which would see Switzerland, London, Hong Kong and Singapore join forces to win access to other world markets …… (Daily Mail. 9th July)

‘Canada’s Trade Minister has made it clear that Canada has no interest in punishing the UK for leaving the EU. Speaking on Radio 4, she said it was not in Canada’s interest to impose barriers with Britain; ‘The UK-Canada relationship is really strong. We export about £11bn worth to the UK and import about £8bn worth. Canadian investors put about £45.5bn into the UK every year. We have a very robust relationship; we are not just friends, we are family. We are on track for the UK and Canada to have an even closer foundation for our trade relationship, and that will be quite soon….’ (Daily Mail, 16th July)

‘GDP figures for the second quarter to the end of June showed that the UK economy grew by 0.6%. The growth figures came as pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline announced that it wants to invest a further £275mn in Britain following its decision to leave
the EU … In another key sign of confidence in the UK economy, City Airport in London has announced a £344mn expansion that will create 1,600 new jobs…. And fast food giant MacDonalds says it wants to create an extra 5000 jobs in the UK by the end of next year, with its UK Chief Executive saying ’We remain committed to the UK’ (Daily Express, 28th July)

‘Last week the IMF faced the embarrassment of admitting that the UK economy will grow faster than Germany and France over the next two years, just weeks after predicting that leaving the EU would trigger a recession here …. ‘ (Daily Mail, 30th July)’

‘The Office of National Statistics Pink Book shows that UK business exports of goods and services to the rest of the world has exceeded that to the EU for the fourth year running. Exports to non-EU countries in 2015 grew to £287.9bn, against £222.4bn to the EU countries … In the services market, where Britain is particularly strong, £88.9bn was sold to EU countries, against £136.6bn elsewhere … (Daily Mail, 30th July)

‘Britain is by far the biggest investor in the USA and must put its ‘key ally’ top of the list when striking trade deals, say the CBI. British firms support more than 1 million jobs across the Atlantic, nearly a quarter of them in manufacturing. UK businesses invested more than £340bn in the US in 2014, 15% of all direct foreign investment in the country. Britain is the fourth biggest destination for US exports. Ben Digby of the CBE said: ‘As the government negotiates our exit from the EU, a clear strategy will be needed to boost trade with partners old and new, across the globe …’ (Daily Mail, 3rd August)

‘Britain will prosper out of the EU, the Bank of England confirmed yesterday. Governor Mark Carney said that ‘Britain could handle Brexit’ and insisted there was no danger of a recession …’ (Daily Express, 5th August)

‘The boss of the UK’s biggest car producing plant has shrugged off fears about Brexit, saying he is ’reasonably optimistic’ a trade deal will be struck ….. Carlos Ghosn, Nissan Chief Executive, said there would be no impact at least until the terms of Brexit become clear: ‘We’re reasonably optimistic that at the end of the day, common sense is going to prevail from both sides, and that the UK will continue to be a big trading partner of the European Community’ (Daily Mail, 6th August)

‘The FTSE 100 finished the week with a flourish, climbing 0.79% (53.31 pts) to a 12 month high of 6793.47. Meanwhile the FTSE 250 broke its pre-referendum level and climbed to an 8 month high as it rose 1.28% (221.03 pts) to 17,465.35’ (Daily Mail, 6th August)

‘A rush of financial data has shown that that consumer spending rose in the weeks after the EU referendum. A survey from the British Retail Consortium and accountants KPMG showed that total retail sales were up by 1.9% in July. It followed figures from Visa and Barclaycard confirming that shoppers kept spending in the wake of the vote. Flight bookings to the UK have also soared since the referendum, up by 7.1%.’

UKIP MP Douglas Carswell said: ‘The only reports that have been negative have been those that talk about sentiment. If you look at the hard data, it is good news. The vote to leave the EU has been followed a Brexit boom’ (Daily Express, 9th August)

‘Chancellor Philip Hammond has said he will guarantee that all projects with EU funding granted before Britain leaves, will continue to be fully funded after Britain has left the EU …..‘ Mr Hammond has also pledged that payments to farmers under the controversial Common Agricultural Policy will be matched until 2020. Research scientists, many of whom have complained bitterly about Brexit, will have any bids they make to the EU for grants before Britain leaves, underwritten by the Treasury …. (Daily Mail, 10th August)

‘Britain’s post-Brexit property market is booming according to a new set of figures .. More mortgages were handed out to first time buyers in June than in any other month since 2007, banks and building societies reported yesterday ……. The data also shows that average asking prices for properties on sale are up, from £240,470 on July 25th to £241,510 on August 8th.’

‘Nick Leeming, chairman at Jackson-Stopes and Staff said: ‘Despite the scaremongering by a number of gloomy commentators, these figures show the UK housing market continues to remain remarkably resilient. Many sellers are feeling confident, demonstrated by the fact that asking prices have seen a moderate increase‘ (Daily Express, August 11th)

‘Lars-Emil Johansen, a former Prime Minister and current chairman of Greenland’s parliament, has said that Brexit could provide a boost to Britain‘s economy and shatter the warnings of the ‘Doomsday prophets’. Greenland quitting the EEC following a referendum in 1982 provoked a political storm, but was followed by strong economic growth once the country was free of Brussels…..’ (Daily Express, 12th August)

‘Releasing the first set of borrowing figures since the referendum, the British Bankers Association (BBA) said families and businesses have taken the prospect of leaving the EU in their stride. The pro-Brussels group admitted that firms seem to be borrowing as usual. Total mortgage lending jumped in July, a 6% increase on the same month last year, while consumer spending on credit cards and in restaurants also rose.’

‘Confidence among businesses also appears to have grown since the referendum result, with firms borrowing £2.3bn in July, following a £400m fall in June …. The figures from the BBA come after another pro-Brussels cheerleader the CBI said manufacturers have reported the strongest demand for exports in two years since June 23rd, helped partly by the fall in the value of the £ …..’. (Daily Mail, 25th August)

‘Car making in Britain is booming, as production topped one million vehicles for the first 7 months of 2016, the highest output for 16 years ….. Exports are also up (by 6%), with 8 out of 10 cars built in Britain destined for overseas markets. The latest figures, released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show UK car manufacturing had its 12th consecutive month of growth in July, up 7.6% on July 2015 … (Daily Mail, 25th August)

‘Consumer confidence has risen by its fastest monthly rate for three and a half years, defying the doom laden predictions of economic chaos that would follow a Brexit vote. The CBI, which had been at the forefront of Project Fear during the referendum campaign, admitted that retail sales shot up in August. Yesterday, the YouGov/CEBR Consumer Confidence Index for July-August climbed 3.2 pts to 109.8; its highest monthly bounce since February 2013 …’ (Daily Express, August 26th)

‘Civil engineering giant John Laing, which relies on attracting overseas investors, has announced that its half yearly profits have trebled to £108.3 million and said it expects more money to pour into Britain after the decision to leave the EU. Chief Executive Oliver Brousse said international investors still see the UK as ‘a great place for investment. They have invested for many years, they know the UK is a safe place to invest, is a predictable place, so I think the appetite is still there…..’ (Daily Express, August 26th)

‘Sir Martin Sorrell, head of advertising giant WPP (and a fervent ‘Remain supporter), says that his global company is benefiting from a ‘post-Brexit’ recovery. Its shares recently jumped by 5% to their highest ever level on the London Stock Market …..’ (Daily Mail, 27th August)

‘Many labour market experts predicted that a Brexit vote would bring about mass unemployment. But according to the official Claimant Count, the number of workers on the dole fell by 8,600 in July, to 763,000. The UK’s unemployment rate (4.9%) is now less than half that of countries in the Eurozone ….’ (City Editor, Daily Mail, 27th August)

It isn’t polite to wallow in others misfortune, but back in the EUSSR …..

‘The crisis-torn Eurozone faces a weak future, according to its former cheerleader, the International Monetary Fund:

‘The euro area is at a critical juncture. Muddling through is increasingly untenable. Unless collective problems are solved, the eurozone is likely to suffer repeated bouts of economic and political instability leading to crises of confidence and economic setbacks …’ (Daily Mail, 9th July)

And NO, you’re not having all our Olympic medals either !

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