Gove Brexit presser

Its odd for the guy who claimed Britons had “had enough” of experts to now style himself as an expert on Britain’s exit from the EU.

Now a backbencher, Michael Gove is trying to keep himself in the limelight by backing a group called ‘Change Britain’ – whose only contribution so far has been a stream of dodgy statistics and half-baked claims.

A couple of weeks ago they were widely ridiculed for another claim about how much money Britain would save by leaving the EU.

The Telegraph continues in its downward trend by giving credence to Change Britain’s latest claims today:

An analysis by Change Britain, a group with the backing of Michael Gove, said that leaving the European Union’s customs union and striking trade agreements with just eight foreign countries will create hundreds of thousands of jobs in manufacturing and service industries. […]

Using European Commission figures on potential trade deals with countries such as India, China, Japan and Canada, the Change Britain analysis found Britain would get nearly £20 billion from extra exports and create 387,580 jobs.

Calling this “analysis” is doing the word a big disservice.

In fact the figures are so ludicrous that neither Gove nor anyone else from Change Britain wanted to go on BBC’s Today programme this morning to defend them.

As Kings College London’s Jonathan Portes pointed out on the Today programme this morning:

The point of trade deals is to increase our exports to the countries we make deal with, and our imports from the countries we make deal with – because we reduce barriers to trade.

Change Britain are counting the number of jobs that they claim would be created by the extra exports from those trade deals, but ignoring the jobs that would be lost because of those extra imports. And that obviously makes no sense.

That isn’t the half of it.

The report also touts the benefits of striking trade deals with countries like South Korea… with whom we (while in the EU) already have a free trade deal with.

Portes added:

Simply counting the benefits without counting the costs makes no sense.

Frankly, that also applies to most analysis by a self-styled expert such as Michael Gove

  1. Clem Fandango says:

    These “hundreds of thousands of jobs”, how many are going to be Customs Officers based at air and sea ports, paid to search through people’s bags as they try to enter or leave the country?

    I recall I had to visit the USSR on business back in 1985. There were armies of soviet officials lined up ready to go through passenger’s suitcases as they left the plane. That how I see post Brexit UK following Gove’s plan.

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