3 years since Brexit: UK forecast to be the only economy to shrink in 2023

Three years after the UK formally exited the European Union, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has released new economic forecasts for 2023 which project that the UK will be the only advanced economy to contract this year.

While India's is expected to grow by 6.1%, the USA’s by 1.4%, and France’s by 0.7%, the IMF predicts the UK's economy will shrink by 0.6% in 2023, reversing an earlier projection that it would grow slightly. 

The IMF’s economic outlook for the UK is even worse than for Russia, which is expected to grow 0.3% despite sanctions and the fallout from Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

The forecast comes amidst growing consensus that the effects of Brexit are exacerbating issues already plaguing the UK, which are also impacting other economies, such as the cost of energy and supply chain disruption. 

Publicly available statistics compiled by Best for Britain indicate that Brexit has resulted in a shortage of over 330,000 workers (including 4,000 NHS doctors), added £210 to the average household's annual food bill, and caused over £900bn in assets to be moved from the UK to the EU. Separate research posits that Brexit is costing the UK economy over £100bn per year in lost output.

Earlier this month, Best for Britain released polling showing 57% of all voters, including a plurality of Conservative voters, believe Brexit has caused more problems than it has solved, compared to just 10% who believe the opposite. Similar polling by UnHerd yesterday revealed that voters in 629 of Great Britain's 632 parliamentary constituencies say the UK was wrong to leave the EU.

Lord Kim Darroch, former UK ambassador to the US and Chair of Best for Britain, said:

“Nobody claims that Brexit is the source of all Britain’s problems, but from the price of food to the shortages in the NHS, the UK’s departure from the EU has made a lot of things worse. 

“This decline does not need to be inevitable. By removing unnecessary barriers to trade and repairing relations with our European allies we can build a better future, and that’s surely something we can all agree on.”