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CBI predicts growth with 'orderly Brexit'

Carolyn Fairbairn (PA)
Carolyn Fairbairn (PA)

By Harriet Line

The UK can expect steady economic growth if it leaves the EU in an orderly way, according to the head of the CBI.

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However, director general Carolyn Fairbairn also warned that a no-deal exit would blow such predictions "out of the water".

Mrs Fairbairn said businesses, jobs and living standards would be severely hurt if the UK crashed out of the EU.

But she also predicted "steady economic growth", with improvements in business investment and continuing export growth over two years, if there were a smooth Brexit.

The business organisation said it expected GDP growth of 1.3% for 2018, 1.4% in 2019 and 1.6% in 2020, if the UK succeeds in securing an "orderly Brexit" next year, with the Government's Withdrawal Agreement being ratified.

It suggested the key drivers behind the growth forecast included a gradual improvement in household spending growth, "modest" business investment growth and slightly more support from government consumption.

Ms Fairbairn said: "The Government's deal is not perfect, but it is the only offer on the table that can protect our economy, reduce uncertainty and open up a route to a decent trade deal in the future.

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"An orderly Brexit next year would see the UK enjoy steady economic growth for the next couple of years.

"But as a range of recent impact studies show, a no-deal scenario would blow these figures out of the water, severely hurting businesses, jobs and living standards."

Belfast Telegraph