BRUSSELS has branded Britain the sick man of Europe after saying we will suffer the slowest growth in the EU over the next two years.
Eurocrats predicted economic expansion will stall and unemployment rise, blaming “uncertainty” caused by Brexit.
They said growth will crawl to just 1.2% in both 2019 and 2020, meaning the UK is set to perform even worse than struggling Italy. But the Commission admitted their figures are based on a “purely technical assumption” given the uncertain outcome of the Brexit talks.
The new numbers were revealed in a two-year economic forecast published by the EU Commission yesterday.
EU finance chief Pierre Moscovici said: “Heightened uncertainty means that business investment growth is likely to remain constrained. Employment growth is expected to slow significantly, leading to a modest rise in unemployment.”
But Tory MEP David Campbell Bannerman said the “deal dividend” from Brexit would “power the economy” ahead of the rest of the EU. He added: “The EU might crow about better growth figures today. But they too easily forget EU and Eurozone in particular has been in recession for so many years.”
Eurocrats said a No Deal Brexit would hit the UK much worse than the EU, but described Britain leaving the club as a “lose-lose” situation. Remainer Labour MP David Lammy fumed: “Brexit is turning Britain into the sick man of Europe.”
The Commission’s projections are more pessimistic than those from the Office for UK-based Office for Budget Responsibility. It has previously predicted 1.6 per cent growth next year and 1.4 per cent growth in 2020.
Official UK growth figures for July to September are due to be published later today.