The Confederation of British Industry warns today that a No Deal Brexit will have severe economic consequences. This isn’t the first time the CBI has warned us about Brexit, and it won’t be the first time they’re wrong. This notoriously anti-Brexit organization warns today that failure to back Theresa May’s deal will result in GDP shrinking by as much as 8 per cent (!!) and thousands of jobs being lost.
Mrs. May will no doubt be delighted to hear the news, however. The CBI is urging MPs to back her deal, suggesting it is a “solution” that businesses will be able to work with as it offers a transition period between the status quo and whatever new deal we agree with the EU after March 29th. Director general Carolyn Fairbairn, in a speech, today called on MPs to “safeguard the security and prosperity of our country” – and put jobs before politics when they vote on Tuesday.
Fairbairn has been very vocal about this already, so it remains to be seen just how much impact her new speech will have. Yesterday, Fairbairn wrote on Twitter:
“Business Secretary @GregClarkMP reflects the voice of business. 1000’s of firms in despair at prospect of no deal. Rising costs & border disruption will cost jobs for years to come. Business will work with PM’s deal. If politicians can’t, they must find a way to stop no deal.”
We have a lot to be sceptical about, here. The CBI hardly has a great history of accurately predicting the effects of Brexit. In fact, time and time again, the CBI has been proven to be an anti-Brexit mouthpiece that tries to influence policy direction in a way that favours the EU. In July, Jacob Rees-Mogg urged the government to simply ignore the CBI. He said that they have “got everything wrong in the whole of their history” – and that their “vested interests” were colouring the views of major firms in the UK.
Rees-Mogg isn’t exaggerating. The CBI really has gotten everything wrong on Brexit…and they’re funded by the EU. Vote Leave revealed in 2015 that the CBI received almost £1 million from the European Commission between 2009 and 2015. So excuse me if I brush off this new doomsday prediction as the nonsense it is.