Telegraph article: Project Fear was right all along

Downbeat predictions by the Treasury and others on the economic consequences of leaving the EU, contemptuously dismissed at the time by Brexit campaigners as “Project Fear”, have been on a long fuse, but they have turned out to be overwhelmingly correct, and if anything have underestimated both the calamitous loss of international standing and the scale of the damage that six years of policy confusion and ineptitude has imposed on the country

Source: Project Fear was right all along

I think this might be the first time the Telegraph has been critical of Brexit. They blame the people implementing it rather than admitting it was doomed to fail from the start, but it still feels like a significant moment that they are at last critical of their beloved Brexit.



I’d like to read the article not least because it seems to be some sort of watershed moment, but there’s a paywall.

I have a NY Times subcription, but when I recommend their articles on SF I offer to provide another version if people can’t access the material. I think there’s lots of non Telegraph readers on SF who’d be grateful if you could do something similar.


Does get get over it?


Does get get over it?


Thanks and super quick too

Oops, sorry, Mark. It isn’t behind a paywall for me for some reason.

Thanks, Billy :+1:

Interesting article, apart from their stabs at the Bank, the only bit I’d really take issue with is the description of Truss as ‘the passionate Remainer who became a passionate Brexiteer.’

She was and is neither, and certainly not ‘passionate’ - she’s just a cynical, self-serving mediocre opportunist. And in this respect if in no other, apart from blinkered, selfish ineptitude, she closely resembles her immediate predecessor (no need to give him a name check!)


It’s interesting looking back on those brexit discussions - they were in fact what first got me posting on SurviveFrance, though most of my online exchanges at that time were in the Guardian comments, which were more open then than nowadays.

There were in fact 2 Treasury forecast papers branded as ‘project fear’ by the brexiters. The first

I remember thinking was sensible, and defended; the second, barely a month before the actual vote

I thought was rushed out when the result looked uncertain, and I suspected political interference.

But glancing back now even the second looks pretty good. Take the value of he £ for instance: predicted 12% fall in the central scenario; in the event the fall was about 13% from early June over the summer of 2016 (now about 25% !).

I just read a piece in Byline Times predicting that the UK is heading for complete ‘societal collapse’.
Not linking it as it’s not that well written - but it’s interesting that it’s a scenario now being openly debated.


I’m not sure I see this article as some sort of epiphany for the Torygraph, but rather that it is clear evidence that the right’s honeymoon with Truss is not only over but they are now actively setting up her demise - it doesn’t matter whether she was passionate or not, merely that she is being painted as a political opportunist and therefore not worthy of respect or saviour.


The people who I hold accountable for the disaster which is Trussonomics are the 80,000 or so Conservative Party members who were deluded enough to elect Truss as Party Leader (and therefore Prime Minister), despite the facts that;

  1. She was not the choice of the Parliamentary Party
  2. They were plainly warned by Sunak that her policies would be disastrous. (Having been Chancellor his warnings should have been given great credence and sounded alarm bells loud and clear.)

To be honest, I think the current situation has little to do with Brexit, and far more to do with incompetent government in respect of the well being of the people over the last 6 years. They have of course been more than competent in lining their own pockets during this period.

To be fair, The Pandemic did throw a spanner in the works, and vast sums of money were spent supporting both individuals and businesses, but what Truss seemingly fails to understand is that such bills need to paid for, and so (in the absence of a money tree in the back garden of No11), taxes need to go up and not down.

Then we have the Energy Crisis where we have watched the government fail to do the obvious thing which is to divorce the cost of electricity from that of gas.
Putin invaded Ukraine, and so the price of oil and gas goes up due to the corruption known as ‘Market Forces’. I note that there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of oil (no problem in having 1,000 liters delivered 10 days ago), and yet the price has risen to crazy levels.

As for electricity, I am yet to be convinced as to why the price of power generated in the UK by nuclear, wind, hydro, solar, and other renewables has to rise just because the cost of gas has risen. This excessive profiteering is morally wrong and should be ‘called out’ by the government.
The government even has the nerve to crow about how they have saved people from high bills by capping the bill for the average household at £2,500 per annum.
My brother’s bill has already gone from £85 a month to £125, and the wonderful ‘cap’ will see it rise to £208 come February. Try telling him (State Pension reliant), that the government are saving him money !

The government may wish to move towards carbon neutrality, but fails to act on things that clearly need doing. There are farmers who could, and indeed wish to, produce far more solar power than they are allowed to do at present. Why are they restricted on production ? Answer; Simply because the power lines to their premises cannot take the increased load. The government should be, and of course isn’t, acting to fix the situation.

Overall it is just governmental gross incompetence facilitated by the unfathomable actions of those 80,000 people.


I think it would be wrong to say either that brexit caused the current mess, or that they are unrelated. The truth is, as always, compliqué. Brexit is part of the current mess in many ways, such as

  • brexit was part of the same extreme right ideology which we all know about - small state, low tax, deregulated economy, etc - neoliberalism
  • the same ideas brought Truss etc to the fore - and many of the 80,000 ‘incompetents’ that elected her into the Tory party (from UKIP, etc)
  • the weakness and isolation of the UK economy, and sterling, caused in part by brexit, was a big factor in the meltdown (the Truss Kwarteng tax plans were not so different from Trump’s, but he could do it in the US without a disastrous market reaction).

Brexit - like the pandemic, the energy crisis etc is another major topic which is impacting on UK and has been shown to be costing a fortune (more than the pandemic (2x) and is ongoing).

Any one of the above issues is going to have a major negative impact on a country.

Other countries are suffering with 2 of the above whereas the UK is suffering with all 3.

Add to this the most incompetent government I have ever known (so far) is the reason there has been no progress.

The most frustrating part of Brexit is it was self inflicted - the UK voted to make itself (obviously) poorer based upon lies and to try to avoid splitting the Conservative Party - which has happened anyway.

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The key thing to keep in mind is that the Tory party had no choice. If it hadn’t moved to the extreme right it would simply have been destroyed, just as the centre-right (and centre-left) parties in France have been, or moderate republicans in the US. In most of Europe, proportional representation systems mean the centre-right can ally with the extreme right and stay in power (as possibly in Sweden) - but this is harder in the UK electoral system. Had the Tories not moved onto UKIP territory Labour would have won big - Corbyn premiership - also because voters and party members are moving to both extremes.

Ultimately, it’s this shift of party members and voters to the extremes that those in the political centre have to respond to - but nearly all the responses I’ve seen so far (with the possible exception of Biden) have been to ally with the extreme right - as the LibDems did in 2010, thus playing their part in propelling the UK into this mess - and as Macron seems to be doing here.

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That is absolutely awesome!
I’ve now booked marked the site.
Many thanks.

I was intrigued as to how it works. So simple. Just uses the Google cached copy, which doesn’t have the paywall active so that the article snippet can be shown in Google search.

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Yes, it’s ingenious isn’t it. Sites actively allow Google to spider their sites cause they want them to index their content, whilst blocking you and I. So tools like this and just impersonate Google. I figure it’s fair game to circumvent their paywall if they’re allowing it for Google.

Incidentally, the Telegraph go one step further in the stupid stakes… Their paywall is managed via JavaScript run locally on your device. So I’ve configured my browser to block JavaScript just for the Telegraph :grin:


Just to echo other posters.
In 2019 members of the Conservative Party voted 92,153 for Boris Johnson and 46,656 voted for Jeremy Hunt.

Boris Johnson became the CLOWN Prime Minister who in the end had to go.

In 2022 members of the Conservative Party voted 81,236 for Liz Truss and 60,399 voted for Rishi Sunak who forecast correctly the dreadful financial consequences if Truss did what she promised to do if she won.

Liz Truss became Prime Minister and created a financial crisis.

Shouldn’t we be asking about the sanity and competence of members of the Conservative party?


This is not by choice for the suppliers of renewable energy - the market price is fixed by the most expensive means of production, it is also the same in the EU although I believe the EU is trying to revise this in response to the current crisis.

It makes the UK decision to apply a windfall tax to renewable suppliers but not fossil fuel suppliers somewhat  understandable (but there should have been a windfall tax on all suppliers).

In which case it is high time that the UK government ‘unfixed’ it.

Ultimately it’s the presence of privately-owned fossil fuel generators in a national grid system that causes the problem. Nuclear and renewables run all the time (though some vary according to wind, maintenance, etc) but many fossil fuel generators are only used sometimes. If the price was fixed according to the costs of renewables it would be a fraction of what we pay now - but it would not be viable for private companies to ever power up fossil fuel generators - they would just be running at a loss - hence blackouts.
Actually, a national grid system was never suited to private ownership (just as a national transport grid, like the railways, doesn’t really work split up among private companies).


Absolutely, not sure that they are though :frowning:

I believe the EU is trying to “fix” this issue in Europe.

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