Iain Dale is Leading Britain's Conversation.
16 October 2017, 10:20
New figures released by the Office of National Statistics has shown that Britain is almost half a TRILLION pounds poorer than it was originally believed.
The shock announcement shows that the UK no longer has a reserve of net foreign assets, while our stock of wealth has collapsed from a surplus of £469bn to a net deficit of £22bn.
Gemma Godfrey from Investment website Moola explained: "We thought they were in £469bn of surplus, but actually we have a £22bn deficit.
"That equates to a quarter of the value of the UK market in total.
"The reason behind this is that foreign direct investment in companies has fallen and our reserve of foreign assets is much smaller than we thought as well.
"The Office of National Statistics have redone the figures and they are much lower than we thought.
"The reason why this has been offset is two things. First of all, foreign investment has been slightly supported by existing commitments, so it hasn't really fallen down until recently.
"And secondly, people have been buying a lot of sterling because they thought the pound was going to rise. But again, that's quite fickle.
"The reason this is important is that it removes our safety net and also puts us in a weaker position when we're going into Brexit talks."