The Rejoiner BBC is at it again

Graham Charles Lear
5 min readFeb 2, 2023

The BBC could not wait to knife the country and Brexit in the back this week. The moment the Anti-Brexit IMF released the new UK forecast the BBC jumped on it like Tiger pouncing on a small deer. The BBC put the blame squarely on the shoulder of Brexeteers.

If you watch or listen to the BBC you would be forgiven for concluding on Tuesday (31 Jan 2023) that the UK is the worst-performing economy in the developed world. The BBC seemed delighted to cover the latest economic forecasts released by the IMF (International Monetary Fund) that day.

They pulled up chart after chart to show it was mainly down to Brexit

Yet here’s the thing, the IMF report never mentioned Brexit being the cause. They cited other things BUT not Brexit

With Tuesday that being the third anniversary of leaving the EU the timing of the IMF’s report was ‘interesting’. The IMF appears to blame the Sunak government, nowhere does the IMF mention Brexit. It explains its downgrade in its growth forecast for the UK as being due to “tighter fiscal and monetary policies and financial conditions and still-high energy retail prices weighing on household budgets.” In other words, it blames Rishi Sunak’s and Jeremy Hunt’s economic policies, and energy prices.

What the IMF said about the UK

“With inflation at about 10 percent or above in several euro area countries and the United Kingdom, household budgets remain stretched.”

I want to make an intervention at this point before we go on.

It’s disappointing that the IMF doesn’t seem to know its facts. Inflation in the EU is running at 10.4% whilst, in Brexit Britain, it is 9.2%. 9.2% is certainly not “about 10% or above”.

Now back to what the IMF said

“Growth in the United Kingdom is projected to be –0.6 percent in 2023, a 0.9 percentage point downward revision from October, reflecting tighter fiscal and monetary policies and financial conditions and still-high energy retail prices weighing on household budgets.”

Source: International Monetary Fund, 31 Jan 2023

So, not one word about Brexit. Further down I will show how the IMF has consistently got its forecasts wrong and has always been unduly pessimistic about the UK in particular.

The IMF’s final brief mention of the UK was.

“In some advanced economies, recent data show that households are still on net adding to their stock of excess savings (as in some euro area countries and the United Kingdom) or have ample savings left (as in the United States).”

That’s it. That’s all the IMF said about the UK in its report.

The downgrade in the IMF’s forecast is not attributed to Brexit in any way whatsoever.

Yet the Anti Brexit BBC put the blame squarely on the shoulder of Brexit.

As promised

1. The IMF’s track record of inaccurate and misleading forecasts

I start with the IMF’s forecasts for UK economic growth.

These have been consistently wrong. For example, in October 2020 the IMF predicted growth in the UK in 2021 would be 5.9%. This was 3 months before the start of the year in question.

Then in October 2021 when the UK was already nine months through the year, and after already having to upgrade its forecast for the UK, the IMF only upgraded its last forecast to 6.8%. In fact, UK growth turned out to be 7.4%, beating all other G7 countries.

The IMF’s unreliable economic forecasts for the UK

  • Oct 2020 forecast for 2021: 5.9%
  • Oct 2021 forecast for 2021: 6.8%
  • Actual UK outcome for 2021: 7.4%

[Sources: IMF World Economic Outlook, 2020 and 2021.]

2. Critical statements by the head of IMF, an ex-EU Commissioner from Bulgaria

The IMF’s Managing Director is Кристалина Георгиева who hails from EU member state Bulgaria, where she secured a postgraduate degree from the Karl Marx Institute, as it was then called. For those readers whose Bulgarian is a little rusty, the anglicised version of her name is Kristalina Georgieva.

The IMF’s Managing Director was a Bulgarian EU Commissioner

Bulgaria became a member of the EU in 2007. Its population is just 6.5 million and its economy is ranked №71 in the world. Bulgaria’s economy is just 2.7% of the size of the UK economy, according to the IMF itself when we last checked late last year.

Ms Georgieva was EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid, and Crisis Response in the Juncker EU Commission.

In October 2021 Ms Georgieva was on the wrong end of a damning report prepared by the law firm WilmerHale for the World Bank’s board, where she had worked before moving to the IMF. The allegations were that Ms Georgieva had put “undue pressure” on World Bank staff in their preparation of a major report, in order to boost China’s rankings. That report subsequently had to be withdrawn.

Following a subsequent IMF investigation, Ms Georgieva was allowed to stay on as the IMF’s MD, after US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the report raised “legitimate” concerns, but “absent further direct evidence” no action would be taken.

It was Ms Georgieva who made the critical comments about the UK’s new economic strategy under Liz Truss’s administration last year, albeit not specifically mentioning the UK by name. Everyone knew to whom she was referring, though.

Ms Georgieva has spent a large part of her working life in academia and the EU, focusing on ‘humanitarian’ and ‘environmental’ matters. In that sense, she fits in perfectly with the globalist mentality which prevails in all these institutions.

When it comes to the IMF, in the years since the EU Referendum every time I have studied the IMF’s reports I have detected an anti-UK bias.

In qualitative terms when looking at the texts this is hard to quantify and my opinions are just that, albeit that I do not write things I do not believe to be true. In quantitative terms, however, the IMF’s forecasts have consistently been negative and just plain wrong, as I have demonstrated above. I cited one example of many.

It is almost as if the former EU Commissioner who now runs the IMF has it in for Brexit Britain. Surely that cannot be the case? I will leave that to the reader's imagination🙄

[ Sources: IMF | EU Commission ]

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Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.