Mark Carney is often accused of being downbeat about Brexit. But the Bank of England’s quarterly inflation report is ‘more sanguine than one might expect’, says the FT. The paper points out that despite a cut in the country’s growth forecast, the Bank ‘expects stronger net trade and business investment to drive a recovery in 2019’. Yet Carney remained ‘candid’ about the damage Brexit is already doing to Britain’s economy. Businesses are investing less, reports the FT, and ‘this has uncomfortable implications’. With the Bank warning that ‘the level of investment in the UK economy (will be) be 20 percentage points lower in 2020 than it forecast before the referendum’, this damage looks sure to continue. The future looks uncertain – and, what’s more, it’s difficult to know whether a rates rise is on the cards. Yet despite this, one thing is clear: ‘At present, the Brexit process is an obstacle, not an aid’ to Britain’s economic recovery.
The impact of Brexit is already being felt on the ground, agrees the Daily Telegraph – with tourists facing lengthy queues at European airports. ‘How predictable that Brexit, a very British revolution, should spark a fight about queues’, says the paper. But this saga is no laughing matter, says the Telegraph, pointing out that the European Union has had plenty of time to get the new security checks – first proposed by the European Commission 18 months ago – right. Some – including one Tory minister – think this is all intended as a ‘warning of how difficult life will become if we defy Brussels’. If so, how should Britain respond? ‘At the very least, Europe needs to be reminded that most of its security threats reside within Schengen, not among…British tourists’, says the Telegraph. Yet ‘rather than dealing with its own mistakes, it lashes out at the British’ over Brexit. Hitting back by ‘introducing fast lanes for Britons returning home is tempting’ but there is also a ‘serious’ point which must be made clear to the EU, which ‘has as much to lose as Britain does if it proceeds with spite.’.
Meanwhile, the Sun turns its fire on Jeremy Corbyn for refusing to speak out while ‘Venezuela burns’. Instead, his allies pipe up on his behalf, the paper says – and ‘their defence is both laughable and appalling’. America, it is said, is to blame for the country’s dire state. Yet while Corbyn’s allies are saying that what happens in Venezuela is ‘irrelevant’ to the Labour leader, don’t buy it, says the Sun. After all, the socialism being tested in Venezuela is the Corbynistas’ ‘lifelong belief system. ‘It is hard proof,’ the Sun concedes, ‘of the hideous damage Corbyn would do to the many, not the few’.