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11th Oct 2016

Don’t panic, but Brexit could cost £66bn a year according to leaked government memo

This is fine. Everything is fine.

Kevin Beirne

First of all, don’t panic.

How has your week been? I know it’s only Tuesday but I hope it’s got off to a good start. Did you see Michael Bisping defend his UFC title over the weekend? It’s the first time a Brit did that, you know.

It might seem like everything is turning to shit slightly, but there’s still hope out there. Even in the poorly-written dystopian nightmare/over-the-top reality TV show that is the US Presidential race, we were reminded by man’s capacity for good by the lovely Ken Bone. What a lovely sweater he had.

Over here, the Conservatives back-tracked on their suggestion that companies have to register their foreign workers after a backlash that compared it to something that might (and, well, did) happen in Nazi Germany. But now we know it won’t be happening in good old Britain any time soon. Progress!

We know people are still hurting from June’s Brexit result, where the British people decided they would like to leave the European Union by a margin of 52% to 48%. And it was great to see so many people get out and vote and demonstrate that the will of the people shall not be ignored, no matter the consequences.

Of course, any political undertaking of this size will have some unintended negative effects. But as we’ve been reminded over and over, it’s a price worth paying for democracy. And Theresa May and the Tories have promised the ‘Hard Brexit’ that we all collectively agreed upon when just over half of us voted in favour of some kind of Brexit.

According to government papers leaked to The Times, leaving the EU could cost the UK as much as £66bn a year. Did you see that Gareth Southgate actually had the balls to drop Wayne Rooney by the way? Fair play to him, that’s the kind of leadership this country needs right now.

While £66bn might seem like a lot of money, especially if you are one of the one-third of Brits to have fallen bellow the poverty line between 2010 and 2013, it would only lead to a drop in gross domestic product of 9.5% – which is less than 10%, a higher number.

Similarly, that £66bn is only equivalent to 56.7% of the NHS’s annual budget. And as far as numbers go, 56.7% is quite satisfying in the fact it uses the correct chronological order.

Of course this is all just speculation and could turn out to be completely false. Sure, the pound is the weakest it has been since the start of 2009 when you could almost get one Euro to the pound, and there have been reports of that being the case in some places now.

And the memo itself acknowledges that the fall in government revenue could be just £38bn – and the “central estimate of” of the drop in GDP is just 7.5%.

So everything is fine and there is no reason to worry. Yes, racist and homophobic attacks have been on the rise while the economy has declined in the wake of the Brexit vote, but Conservative MPs are working hard to get the Queen a new £100m boat to help boost the economy.

This is fine. Everything is fine. No need to panic. It’s all good. Keep calm and carry on.

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