BBC Hypes Gloomy Brexit Report By EU-Funded Think Tank

The second main story on BBC News all day has been a report by an American think tank warning that “nearly all” the possible outcomes of Brexit will see the UK worse off than staying in the EU. Of course the Rand Corporation, which published the report, is funded by the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Union Research Executive Agency. Not that the Beeb thought to mention that…

Guido has read the Rand report so you don’t have to. It is filled with flaws and biases – for example it says the Brexit bill will be up to €75 billion (fact check: it’s between £35-39 billion). The report looks at many types of supposed models for Brexit, but it bizarrely doesn’t assess the outcome of the UK signing trade deals with multiple countries, one of the main reasons for leaving: “We did not explore the… model in which the UK would complete FTAs with numerous countries”. This is the government’s plan, why is it not included in the study?

Then there is the model Rand say they have used to determine their figures – it is the same as the infamous Treasury model that wrongly predicted a calamitous aftermath of a Leave vote. Debunked…

The report admits that “research for this study was completed as of 15 September 2017”. Eh? Quite a lot has happened since September – not least talks moving onto phase 2 when just a few months ago Remainers said they were doomed. Maybe if the study was up to date they’d have got the Brexit bill right…

And remember how the Beeb noted that “nearly all” of the outcomes were dire? What their coverage didn’t mention today is Rand’s finding that if the UK agrees FTAs with both the EU and the US we would see double the amount of GDP growth than any one of the so-called soft Brexit scenarios. Odd that this finding was missing from the BBC’s own coverage…

UPDATE: And the Rand report finds almost no difference in terms of GDP impact between the EEA minus or CETA plus models.




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Keir Starmer says…

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