The authoritative source for independent research on UK-EU relations

21 Jun 2023


The CER doppelganger index does not provide a credible measure of the impact of Brexit

There is a widespread perception that Brexit has damaged the UK economy. Arguments for a negative impact rely on counterfactual analyses in which estimates are constructed of how the UK economy might have performed in the absence of Brexit. Perhaps the most widely cited of such studies are the doppelganger analyses undertaken by the Centre for European Reform (CER).

This working paper argues that the CER doppelganger index does not provide a credible measure of the impact of Brexit. It examines the raw data on UK GDP in comparison with other G7 economies, before outlining the CER approach.

OECD data on GDP volumes shows that the UK growth has been intermediate among G7 economies since 2015. Only the US and Canada have performed significantly better since the referendum. In the case of the USA, substantial fiscal expansion under Trump and Biden have been important factors in the growth of the US and its major trade partner Canada. The UK has performed as well as, or better than major EU economies or Japan.

Analysis by UKICE Senior Fellow Jonathan Portes on the methodological debate around assessing the economic impact of Brexit can be found here.



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