Britain’s economy will vastly outstrip that of France in the next 15 years, according to a landmark report published today.
Booming tech investment and the economic reforms of the Thatcher era are giving the UK a clear lead over its neighbour and historic rival, according to independent think-tank the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).
Its latest World Economic League Table, which looks at the prospects for all 193 countries, forecasts the UK economy will be 16 per cent larger than France’s by 2036. The UK’s is currently estimated to be worth £2.1 trillion, 3.6 per cent larger than France’s.
Douglas McWilliams, deputy chairman of CEBR, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘Tech is the dynamic factor in economic growth and Britain is investing more in this area than France and Germany put together.
‘Between half and three-quarters of UK economic growth has come from the tech sector. By contrast, Germany has a hefty legacy economy, based on car manufacturing and similar.’
The UK is the world’s fifth-largest economy and is estimated to have a gross domestic product of £36,357 per head.
The report predicts Britain will drop to sixth position behind India in 2026, where it is expected to remain until 2036.
France, currently the sixth-largest economy, is predicted to fall to seventh position next year and remain there.
Mr McWilliams said Brexit allows Britain to retain Thatcher’s economic legacy but warned tech firms may find it harder to recruit talented workers from overseas.
The CEBR report notes that Brexit had cost the City no more than ten per cent of its business, despite dire forecasts from politicians and commentators in the run-up to Britain’s exit from the EU.