Express spins misleading tale of booming Brexit economy

by Charlie Mitchell | 08.09.2016

The Express has talked up UK’s post-Brexit growth in a series of front-page articles whose headlines aren’t supported by the text or the facts. While immediate economic crisis has been averted, with recent indicators suggesting a healthier economy than many feared, the tabloid’s repetitive statements that the Brexit economy is booming are misleading.

Look at the following five headlines that appeared on The Express’ front page.

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July 22

The supposed boost in house prices since the Brexit vote is a 10.2% increase in property prices across major cities that occurred in the year to the end of June, according to the analysts Hometrack. Given that the referendum was on June 23, 97% of the period covered was before the vote.

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July 28

The supposed boom is based on 0.6% growth in the UK’s GDP in the three months to the end of June. Given that the referendum was on June 23, 92% of the period covered by the data was before the vote.

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July 30

The Express includes the US and Germany in its list of 27 countries. But on an official visit to the US on July 25, five days before The Express’ article was published, new international trade secretary Liam Fox was told that it was too soon to start talks. Germany had made clear a month before the article was published that there wouldn’t be even informal talks on Brexit until Britain triggered Article 50, starting divorce talks. The tabloid didn’t provide any evidence for the other countries on its list beyond referring vaguely to unnamed reports.

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August 12 (trailer on the front page)

This article is actually about Greenland. It quotes two people. One, Greenland’s former prime minister, who can hardly be described as an “EU expert”, doesn’t talk about Britain’s prospects post Brexit. He rather says that Greenland’s economy expanded after it left the EU, “proving doomsday prophets wrong”. The article then goes on to quote the former Danish foreign minister, who could be described as an EU expert. He does talk about Britain, but not in a way that supports The Express’ headline. Even the tabloid admits that “he said there were few similarities between Britain and Greenland, which had a population of just 56,000 and a gross domestic product of about 2.5billion US dollars at the time it quit the EEC.”

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August 22

This headline is based on a small upward revision in the Treasury’s monthly compilation of published economic forecasts in August. On average, economists predicted growth of 1.6% for 2016 and 0.7% for 2017, up 0.1% and 0.2% respectively from the July forecasts. Growth of 0.7% next year would not constitute a boom.

The Express declined to comment.

Edited by Hugo Dixon

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One Response to “Express spins misleading tale of booming Brexit economy”

  • I have complained 4 times to the Express about this misinformation . No response. So I escalated each complaint to IPSO. No responses yet.