Nine out of ten of the top economists in Britain believe that the economy will only be harmed should Britain leave the European Union. The poll, undertaken by Ipsos MORI, on behalf of The Observer, gathered responses from over 600 of the most respected economists from the Royal Economic Society and the Society of Business Economists.
It found that 88 per cent believed that Britain’s growth prospects would be negatively impacted should the UK leave the EU.
The loss of access to the single market along with increased uncertainty leading to reduced investment were the two most attributed causes of a downfall in GDP. In contrast, the survey showed that only 5 per cent believe that a Brexit would have a positive economic impact. These worries are not unfounded. According to Vicky Pryce, a chief economic advisor at CEBR London, even speaking about the UK leaving the EU has had an unfavourable effect through a decline in business investment in the last quarter.
Moreover, the Treasury’s economic forecast which predicted that, in the event of a Brexit, British households would be worse off by £4,300 have also recently warned that house prices may plummet and pension values will plunge by £300bn. Welcoming the findings, Cameron said in a statement: “This poll confirms the overwhelming view of economists – leaving the EU would damage our economy, costing jobs and increasing prices.”
However, those in favour of a Brexit refuse to accept these figures, arguing that it fails to mention that the UK would be able to negotiate its own trade deals and would no longer be bound to the cost of regulation and the red tape imposed by Brussels should it leave the EU.