Politics

UK economy facing ‘Italy-style decline’ – follow live

Today’s daily politics briefing

The UK economy could see Italy-style stagnation within the next decade because of Brexit and the pandemic, a think-tank has warned.

The Resolution Foundation said that Britain’s economic outlook could resemble Italy more closely than Europe’s powerhouse Germany if it does not rise to the challenges it faces.

“If the UK’s pace of underperformance relative to Germany continues at the same pace in the 2020s, then it will end this decade with GDP per capita much closer to that of Italy than Germany,” it said.

Clive Cowdrey, the Resolution Foundation’s founder, added that Britain’s “recent record of weak productivity, stagnant living standards and high inequality makes a new economic approach desirable”.

Meanwhile, the former chief Brexit negotiator Lord Frost said there could be “turbulence” if the Northern Ireland protocol crisis was not solved by July, when a large annual Protestant rally is held.

“We all know that late spring and summer in Northern Ireland can sometimes be turbulent,” he warned.

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UK economy faces ‘Italy-style’ decline without innovation, think tank warns

The UK economy will more closer resemble Italy’s than Germany’s if it does not take decisive action this decade, a think tank has warned.

The Resolution Foundation (RF) said Britain must address the “seismic economic shifts” caused by Brexit, the pandemic and the transition to net emissions.

Without a new strategy, the RF suggested the UK would fall behind its competitors.

Sir Clive Cowdrey, the think tank’s founder, said: “The UK’s recent record of weak productivity, stagnant living standards and high inequality makes a new economic approach desirable. What makes a new approach essential is the scale of coming change.

“The UK now faces a decisive decade as the aftermath of Covid-19, Brexit and the Net Zero transition come together with major shifts in technology and demography.

“This matters for far more than economics. Failing to rise to this challenge risks leaving the nation diminished and divided.”

Rory Sullivan18 May 2021 08:23

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UK warns EU of ‘turbulence’ in Northern Ireland this summer

The prime minister’s former chief Brexit negotiator has warned the EU of “turbulence” in Northern Ireland this summer if the protocol crisis is not resolved.

Speaking to the Commons European Scrutiny Committee on Monday, David Frost said: “We all know that late spring and summer in Northern Ireland can sometimes be turbulent and some days are significant in that. We have to take that reality into account.

“We have a responsibility to try and avoid further deterioration and difficulties in the situation – and that obviously is a possibility as we go into the spring and summer.”

Our deputy political editor Rob Merrick reports:

Rory Sullivan18 May 2021 08:00

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Morning, and welcome to The Independent’s rolling UK politics coverage.

Rory Sullivan18 May 2021 07:56

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