Brexit: Top economist reveals what he thinks will happen next after the EU referendum vote

John Van Reenen of the London School of Econimics forecast costs of Brexit before vote was held

Thursday 04 August 2016 10:47 BST
British and EU flags outside the organisation’s headquarters in Brussels
British and EU flags outside the organisation’s headquarters in Brussels (AFP/Getty)

One of the UK's top economists has issued a stark warning about the possible economic and social implications of Brexit for Europe.

Work from before the referendum by Professor John Van Reenen, professor of economics at LSE and director of the university's Centre for Economic Performance, laid out the likely long-term economic costs of Britain leaving the European Union.

Van Reenen's research, co-authored with three colleagues from the LSE, Swati Dhingra, Gianmarco Ottaviano and Thomas Sampson, claims even if Britain manages to secure a deal where it keeps access to the single market, income per person will still fall by 1.3 per cent relative to otherwise.

If the UK is unwilling to accept the free movement of labour, it is likely trade will fall by more, leading to a 2.6 per cent decrease in income per person.

This translates to a fall of between £850 and £1,700 per UK household.

In a new piece following the referendum result, Mr Van Reenen blamed the stigmatisation of foreigners, the eurosceptic and anti-immigration stance of large sections of the British press and also “the worst [politicians] in living memory” for the result.

He argued the vote was “won on a drumbeat of anti-foreigner sentiment” and is “the same tune that was played in the 1930s” and has "drowned a once great nation.”

Theresa May says she has an 'open mind' over Brexit negotiations

And in a warning for the future, Mr Van Reenen predicted other European countries will follow Britain’s example and be “swept along in this poisonous flood”.

The only question, according to Mr Van Reenen, is which other states will also be hit by the "tsunami of bile" and take an anti-immigration, anti-Europe stance in the coming years.

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