Priti Patel: Brexit is an act of 'supreme economic sense'

Posted On: 
19th November 2017

Leaving the EU is an "act of supreme economic sense" because of the bloc's "fundamental" economic flaws, Priti Patel has claimed.

Priti Patel called for a 'positive, bold and dynamic' approach to the Budget
Credit: 
PA

The former International Development Secretary, who resigned earlier this month after failing to declare a series of meetings with Israeli officials, was among the leading Brexit campaigners in Theresa May's Cabinet. 

In a column for the Sunday Telegraph, she claims that Brexit can herald a "new era of prosperity" if the UK takes advantage of new technology and access to emerging markets. 

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And she put pressure on Chancellor Philip Hammond ahead of this week's Budget, saying:

"Being positive, bold and dynamic, with a clear plan for a clear vision of a successful country and economy - an approach I hope will underpin this week's Budget."

She pointed to an IMF warning that the Eurozone faces "the hurdles of high public debt", combined with a lack of convergence between the richer and poorer parts of the single currency area, along with the "abject failure" to revive Greece's floundering economy.

"On top of this, the EU’s economy - which accounted for 34% of world GDP in 1980 - will only account for 20 per cent by 2030," she writes.

"Seen in this light, and away from the passion and emotion of the wider debate, Brexit is an act of supreme economic sense. It will catalyse economic growth by adapting to the future faster than other countries, of seeing the potential of rising middle classes in India and China, and moving to establish new free trade deals with the major economies of tomorrow."

'WISHFUL THINKING'

But the former top civil servant at Liam Fox's Trade department has issued a stark warning that leaving the single market will mean "less investment, lower living standards and long queues at the border".

Martin Donnelly, who stepped down as permanent secretary earlier this year, warned MPs that a trade deal with the EU could not replicate the benefits the UK currently enjoys.

"There is no credible free trade deal outcome able to deliver the guaranteed market access, shared regulation and consumer protection that Britain needs," he writes in the Observer

"Wishful thinking does not create well-paid jobs, pay taxes or fund public services."