What’s happening with the business hacks at the BBC?

They seem to have come over all right-wing tabloidy.

A bizarre report by the BBC today claims the UK economy will be given a ‘£135bn annual boost’ by a hard Brexit.

In its article, the BBC extensively quotes infamous Thatcherite economist Patrick Minford, who is the lead author of a report urging the hardest of hard Brexits from pro-Brexit campaign group Economists for Free Trade.

So far so UKIP. Although it’s a bit weird to see a rogue economist normally quoted in the pages of the Express or the Sun being so prominently and uncritically quoted by the BBC in its business section.

But bizarrely, the BBC report also apes those gutter rags by completely censoring failing to mention any of the extremely negative consequences of the group’s proposals, as predicted by Professor Minford himself.

Namely, for example, that the hard Brexit proposed by the group will eliminate UK manufacturing:

And the BBC report also completely omits the fact that Professor Minford is happy to see the UK car industry “run down” after a hard Brexit:

Or that – according to Minford – there will be large increases in wage inequality after a hard Brexit. Or to put it another way, poorer workers will be paid less.

Minford’s methodologies have also been widely debunked – something else the BBC fails to mention.

It’s hard to overstate just how extremely right-wing Minford is when it comes to economics.

As just one example, he thinks not only that the NHS should be privatised but that the NHS should be “rationed severely and brutally to the vast majority who ought to be paying for themselves”.

Obviously, as hard-line Thatcherites, Minford and his group don’t much care about the destruction of UK manufacturing, the NHS or massive increases in wage inequality.

But why doesn’t the BBC report the stated negative affects of a hard-Brexit, as stated by Minford and his group of hard-Brexiters themselves?

Perhaps the BBC thinks we’re all such Thatcherites now, the rest of us in the country don’t care about manufacturing, the NHS or wage inequality either?

If so, they need to get out of their Westminster bubble, and start listening to people who aren’t blinded by Tory propaganda …


For those interested in the more technical aspects of the economics of hard Brexit, here’s a good critique of Professor Minford’s methodology from the London School of Economics:

The ‘Britain Alone’ scenario: how Economists for Brexit defy the laws of gravity