RPICPI User Group

last person joined: 3 months ago 

To foster co-operation and the exchange of information between the ONS, its advisory bodies and other users. Please see 'Aims of the RPI/CPI User Group' in the library for further details.

Brexit and EU statistics

  • 1.  Brexit and EU statistics

    Posted 29-12-2018 15:41

    May I wish colleagues a happy New Year – though it may well be less happy after 29 March.

    A Brexit issue that has so far seemed to be absent from public discussion is the almost certain detrimental effect that Brexit will have on our national statistical system. Having myself been responsible in Eurostat for the development of the HICPs in the 1990s and beyond, I was able to observe at first hand the extraordinary effects of having regular meetings of experts in working groups and task forces. Statisticians from all member states, who had generally never even met each other before the project began, soon started to develop close professional and personal work relationships – and, in particular, an appreciation that there are often different ways of approaching statistical problems.

    Will all this be lost after the UK is no longer invited to these vital discussions? I fear so. It will take time to become evident, of course, but the start will presumably be the first delegate meetings after 29 March (or possibly after the transition period). The loss of contact will develop over time, but eventually the UK will be no closer to the EU than it is to OECD or UNECE, for example. I need hardly mention that the change will also be detrimental to our fellow EU statisticians, who will no longer benefit from the positive contributions that the UK has made in the various fields of statistics. Indeed, of course I am not just talking about consumer price statistics but all the other important fields of statistical work which involve intra-EU co-operation: employment and unemployment, agriculture, transport, construction – the list is a long one. This is not a topic likely to be appreciated by the general public, but our government certainly should be aware.


    John Astin  29 Dec 2018

  • 2.  RE: Brexit and EU statistics

    Posted 29-12-2018 18:28
    I think you need have no fear.

    I have attended over 20 EU meetings, and at most of these, non-EU countries were present and expressed their views, especially Switzerland and Norway and also Eastern European Countries not yet members of the EU.  Of  course they had no vote.  But the UK only has about 10% of all EU votes.

    I'm sure that whether the UK is part of the EU or not, our statistics will be strongly harmonised, though not if the UK decides otherwise (which is not the case at the moment).


  • 3.  RE: Brexit and EU statistics

    Posted 30-12-2018 05:57
    I can support Gareth's reply.  I was a member of a group on seasonal adjustment techniques.  There were observers from Norway and Switzerland.  They had no vote, but no votes were taken.  The benefit was mainly to Eurostat, because I was able to convince people to use X-11 rather than the methods used by Eurostat or Germany.

    Michael Baxter

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