Project Fear Watch

How much money are we willing to sacrifice for Brexit? How many livelihoods? How many lives?

During the referendum campaign, just about every warning of potential drawbacks to the UK’s departure from the European Union was dismissed as “Project Fear”.

Sure, there was hyperbole. Hyperbole has been a part of political discourse for as long as there has been political discourse. When you’re presenting the case against a proposition, you don’t set out the best-case scenario.

But on this occasion, even the soberest, most reasonable predictions of even the more neutral commentators were met with screams of “Scaremongering!” Which is odd, given that even some of the more rabid Leavers quietly admitted that the UK would almost certainly suffer some damage, at least in the short term.

Every time a financial expert was quoted as expressing reservations about Brexit, the Leave camp would trot out a contradictory prediction from a different economist. If a business leader spoke out against leaving, they’d find another who was in favour. If an academic was anti, they’d produce one who was pro. This gave the false impression that opinion was evenly divided, that there was practically nothing to separate the two sides.

But the reality is, 90% of all economists were against Brexit. Some weren’t sure, and only about 5% thought it would be a good idea. Similarly, the majority of business leaders and an overwhelming majority of academics warned of dire consequences. And slowly — perhaps more slowly than expected, partly because of Theresa May’s dithering — we are beginning to find out just how right they were.

So on this page, I’m going to try to keep a record of Brexit bad news stories. It’s not going to pretend to be balanced — why should I be balanced? The Express isn’t balanced, the Mail isn’t balanced, Breitbart and Infowars sure as hell aren’t balanced — and it’s not going to be comprehensive, because I simply don’t have the time. If you like, you can help out by posting useful links in the comments below. I will, however, try to link as far as possible only to sources broadly regarded as reputable.

The point of this is not to say “I told you so”. Well, not entirely. It’s more about keeping tabs on things so that we can learn from our mistakes and try not to be such dead-eyed twats in future. Will there come a point when people admit that the cost of Brexit is too high?


Few benefits to 15% fall in sterling

Spending on clothing hits five-year low

UK labour shortages reported as EU worker numbers fall

UK faces big squeeze in living standards

Post-Brexit surge in economy comes to an end

Food ‘could rot in fields’ without cheap migrant labour, say farmers

Goldman Sachs to reduce City head count by half

Lloyds, JPMorgan Chase, HSBC Holdings, Lloyds Banking Group and UBS Group to move jobs out of London

Hi-tech financial firms flee amid Brexit doubts

London ‘no longer best place’ for fintech startups

Cosmetics firm Lush to move expansion plans abroad

1,000 jobs at risk as shoe retailer Brantano goes into administration

Brexit will cost UK 30,000 jobs in finance sector

40% of games companies considering relocating to EU

Brexit-related bank moves could cause financial instability across Europe

Rolls-Royce posts record losses after Brexit

BMW to pull production of E-Mini from UK

Airlines ‘will have to relocate to Europe after Brexit’

UK will lose €40bn of direct EU funding after Brexit

Brexit jeopardises £487bn of US investment in UK

EU and UK ‘heading for economic cold war’

Vote begins to bite as rising food and fuel bills hit retail sales

Portion sizes shrinking to hide rise in import costs

Customs gridlock could damage UK trade

Brexit migration controls could push retirement age beyond 70

Leaving EU could cost UK billions in extra tariffs

100,000 euro clearing jobs under threat

Parts of UK that voted Brexit ‘most vulnerable to its effects’

UK inflation rate rises to 2.3%

UK loses EU ‘crown jewels’ of banking and medicines agencies

Higher education and research

UK universities tumble in world rankings over Brexit concerns

Applications to UK universities down 7% since Brexit vote

Erasmus scheme may exclude British students after Brexit

UK will be ‘poor cousin’ of European science after Brexit

Heriot-Watt University announces axeing of 100 jobs

Britons ‘bumped off’ EU medical research grants

EU academics already planning to leave UK


Apple raises price of apps by 25%

Apple laptops go up by as much as £500

Microsoft PCs rise by up to £400

Toblerone maker reduces weight of bars

The Great Tesco Marmite Shortage Scandal

Brexit set to push up price of champagne and prosecco

Price of chocolate bars set to rocket

Price of Guinness, Baileys to rise because of Brexit

Confectionery sizes to shrink after Brexit

Cost of making a car in UK could rise by £2,400

Sound system manufacturer Sonos raises prices by 25%

Brits may have to pay to visit Europe after Brexit

UK tourists will have to pay mobile phone roaming charges after Brexit


Brexit may be final straw for some couples

32-year-old man who has lived in UK his whole life told to take citizenship test

Dutch woman who has lived in UK for 30 years may have to leave (Two of many such cases)

Applications for Irish passports rise by 42%

3 million EU citizens could face ‘deliberate hostility’ policy

EU citizens face legal limbo after Brexit

Britons living in EU face Brexit backlash

Hard Brexit means hard border for Ireland

Brexit jeopardises Northern Ireland peace process

Brexit threatens territorial status of Gibraltar

Damaging Brexit could fuel Welsh independence movement

Ending free movement is no quick fix for low wages, say Lords

Immigration unlikely to fall by much after Brexit

Sturgeon seeks second referendum on Scottish independence

Global reputation

Brexit has damaged UK’s reputation among young Europeans

Race hate crimes/far right terrorism

No, they’re not “fake news”.

Brexit jeopardises fight against terrorism

Far-right activist’s shocking rant on Channel 4 News: ‘Take in a Syrian refugee, I hope you don’t get raped’

Vile solicitor launches racist tirade at mother and son on train

Man kicks Muslim woman in stomach, causing her to lose unborn twins

Hate crimes have risen by up to 100% since Brexit

Man kicked to death by gang ‘for speaking Polish’

Gang inflicts serious head injuries on teenage refugee in Croydon

The cowardly, brutal murder of Jo Cox MP


Warnings of customs chaos at ports in event of hard Brexit

EU working to push UK out of Euro space agency

Brexit will delay nuclear power stations

Senior civil servants considering stepping down over Brexit tensions

Gibraltar poses threat to post-Brexit aviation access

Ryanair will have to suspend flights in absence of Brexit deal

EU countries line up to host European Medicines Agency

Racing industry concerns over end of free movement for horses

Top orchestra quits Britain over Brexit migration clampdown

UK Sport warned of more Brexit funding cuts

Number of EU nurses coming to UK down by 90% since referendum vote

Thousands of doctors may quit UK after Brexit

600,000 could lose access to clinical trials

Top chefs refuse to move to London because of Brexit

Brexit could hinder UK efforts to fight corruption

Hard Brexit will mean up to 40% tariffs on UK agriculture exports, an end to free healthcare in the EU for UK citizens, loss of passporting rights for the City, and an end to the Free Skies agreement, Davis admits

Since I’m probably not going to be updating this as often as I should, for all the latest on the EU clusterfuck, check out Jon Henley’s excellent weekly Brexit briefing for the Guardian.

NB: The jolly impressive Brexit Shitstorm Forecast is a much more comprehensive resource on the same subject. I don’t want to steal their thunder. However, since it tries to be both compendious and balanced, there’s a lot to get through. My page will just consist of edited lowlights.