Gordon Brown, the former premier, warned in a speech (11 May 2016) that Brexit would trigger a backlash against employment rights. “Think of the maximum working week. Think of holiday pay. Think of the transfer of undertakings when companies go bust and employees are protected.” An independent UK government could repeal all these rights but would judged by the electorate. Or we could stay in the EU and risk being made to reduce worker’s benefits, as the Greek government was.
Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, says that Brexit will hit GDP by 1.5% to 9.5% depending on whether we opt for ” à la Switzerland, à la Norway, or à la WTO”. Rather precise numbers but quite a range. The IMF repeatedly failed to predict continuing Greek recession or the UK’s recovery during the Coalition period.