The pain and gain of Brexit vote: British economy a year on

LONDON (AP) — Few events outside of war can have quite as much impact on the economy of a country as Britain’s decision a year ago to leave the European Union.

The momentous vote on June 23, 2016 has the potential to sever Britain’s ties to its main trading partner, a grouping it has spent more than four decades building ever-closer ties to. From common subsidies for farmers to standards on consumer products and banishing all types of impediments to trade, the British economy is deeply enmeshed in the workings of the EU.

Since the vote, the British economy defied the gloomy recession predictions of many, including the British Treasury and the International Monetary Fund. Other forecasts like an immediate house price crash didn’t materialize either.

But other predicted events did occur, such as a sharp fall in the pound and rising inflation. And now that the official two-year Brexit process has begun, there are renewed signs of economic pain.

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So where is the British economy, one year later? Here’s a brief guide.

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STILL GROWING, JUST

The British economy did not contract in the wake of the Brexit vote as many had warned. In fact, for much of the time since, it’s grown faster than its peers in Europe, largely because of a sharp fall in the value of the pound. The 15 percent decline made exports cheaper, a boon to growth. However, the economy is now weakening amid the Brexit uncertainty and as the pound makes imports more expensive. The British economy is even trailing the likes of Greece — Britain grew 0.2 percent in the first three months of the year, lower than any other Group of Seven economy. While Britain has faltered, previously struggling continental economies like France have gained momentum, potentially affecting the dynamics of the Brexit talks, which started this week.

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RECESSION AHEAD?

The worry is that the pre-Brexit doom-mongers may…

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