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John Mills

Economist, entrepreneur and the Chairman and majority shareholder of JML

John Mills is an economist, entrepreneur and the Chairman and majority shareholder of JML (John Mills Ltd), an import-export and distribution company. With subsidiary companies and trading relations in Europe, the Far East and North America, JML is a fast-growing company with an annual turnover of more than £100m.

A former Labour Councillor in Camden, John was the Deputy Chairman of the London Docklands Development Corporation from 1985 to 1987 and a Parliamentary candidate twice in 1974 and for the European Parliament in 1979. He has been Secretary of the Labour Euro-Safeguards Campaign since 1975 and the Labour Economic Policy Group since 1985. John is also Vice Chairman of the Economic Research Council and Co-
Chairman of Business for Britain, campaigning for renegotiation of the UK’s EU terms of membership followed by a referendum.

John is the author of a number of books including Tackling Britain’s False Economy, A Critical History of Economics, and Exchange Rate Realignments. He is one of the Labour Party’s largest private donors and an outspoken advocate of a more competitive exchange rate. He recently founded “The £ campaign” which he chairs – more information at:

How Can We Avoid the UK's Next Recession?

The recent budget again shone the spotlight on the UK's precarious economic position. Despite years of austerity, public spending cuts, Quantitative Easing and some limited stimulating activity such as taking the lowest paid out of tax, the country is still in grave danger of falling back into recession. But we're not alone. The global economic outlook is poor. And western countries have hardly recovered from the last great recession.
07/04/2016 11:43 BST

The Exchange Rate Is Falling and It's Good News

If you were to believe the commentariat, the recent falls in the pound are a complete disaster. According to many, we are on the edge of an economic abyss. Our country is about to be plunged into financial turmoil. And, worst of all it would seem, our summer holidays abroad have become a bit more expensive...
09/03/2016 08:52 GMT

The Autumn Statement Looks Far Too Optimistic

The Chancellor's recent Autumn Statement generated a number of big-splash headlines with announcements on Stamp Duty, tax and savings. But there are really only two key criteria by which we will judge the Chancellor's Statement in the long term.
19/12/2014 00:16 GMT

Renegotiation Must Tackle More Than Immigration to Win an EU Referendum

While the negotiations around issues such as immigration are very important, they are not the whole story. Of perhaps equal significance are the developments within the EU itself. These changes may, in the end, have an even larger bearing on the outcome of any 'in-out' referendum, if and when the time comes.
10/12/2014 18:15 GMT

What Does the Future Hold for the UK Economy?

Despite the political rhetoric, if current economic policies continue broadly as they are, the UK economy does not have a bright future. In my view, and that of many others, our economy has at least five big problems. These major challenges will end the current upturn probably shortly after the 2015 general election, no matter who wins.
12/11/2014 17:51 GMT

Will Austerity Really Reduce the Government Deficit?

In 2013, the government deficit, according to the latest available Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures, was £92.9billion, which was 5.8% of GDP. All our major political parties are fixated on getting this deficit down by cutting expenditure and raising taxes. But should they be quite so determined to do so? Is austerity really the best way to cut the deficit?
10/09/2014 17:39 BST

Britain Needs to Invest In Itself

When all things are taken into account, the UK is investing almost nothing in its economic future. The Coalition government may have conjured some temporary growth, but this will disappear without much more new investment and if we want to avoid long-term decline we need to act right now. The hard fact is that productivity growth in the UK has ground to a halt and there's a very simple reason for this: the UK, for the first time since the start of the Industrial Revolution, has virtually stopped investing in the type of economic activities which are capable of delivering increases in output per head of the population.
01/09/2014 21:33 BST

Lowering the UK Exchange Rate to Improve Our Balance of Payments

Our balance of payments deficit is far too high. In fact we have not had a surplus on our trade in goods since 1982 and we have not had an overall surplus in any year since 1983 - 30 years ago. As a result, we are unable to run our economy at full throttle.
19/08/2014 17:05 BST

How Can the UK Get Its Exchange Rate Down?

In the UK we have real difficulty in facing up to having, arguably, the most overvalued currency in the world. We need to get our exchange rate down or we'll never secure sustainable long-term growth. But how does a government make this happen?
11/08/2014 16:43 BST

Is Economic Migration Still Sustainable?

Migration has always been part of the human experience. As the world's population has grown, so too has the number of people migrating. But have we reached the point where the developed world is no longer seeing a benefit from the economic migration of people from the developing world?
29/07/2014 16:57 BST

The Political Cost of Economic Mismanagement

The extent to which the UK and most of the rest of the Western world are currently mismanaging our economies clearly has a huge financial cost. In the longer term, however, the political cost will be even greater than the economic price - unless we see radical changes in policy. The failure of the West to deliver a reasonable economic performance - combined with the related problem of widespread inability to get difficult decisions taken - has led an increasingly large number of people across the world to consider whether more authoritarian of running modern diversified economies might work better than those based on liberal democracy.
23/07/2014 16:57 BST

Debunking the Myths Surrounding Exchange Rate Realignments

The UK is in trouble. It cannot pay its way in the world. We charge too much for our exports and we import far too much. Too few people buy British-made goods, because they are too expensive. We have high unemployment, high rates of inequality and the UK is falling deeper and deeper in debt...
15/07/2014 16:41 BST

Inequality in the UK Is Now a Massive Problem

How can we reverse this inequality between the rich and the poor, and the North and the South in the UK? We must take bold economic steps to realign our currency to make British goods affordable and desirable for the rest of the world. If we had a more competitive pound, manufacturing would expand, creating more jobs for reasonable rates of pay across the whole country.
10/07/2014 17:13 BST

Your Standard of Living Depends on the UK Exchange Rate

As soon as anyone suggests that the UK exchange rate is too high and that the pound is overvalued, there's an immediate reaction - and not usually a good one! But the problem is that the high pound is causing us all sorts of difficulties and it's affecting every man, woman and child in the UK right now, today.
15/06/2014 21:34 BST

No Long-Term Hope for UK Unemployment Without a Lower Exchange Rate

If we could rebalance our economy so that we could pay our way in the world, removing the constraints which are the cause of the lack of sufficient job opportunities in the UK, there is no reason why we should not be able to get back to around 3% unemployment, reducing the true numbers for those out of work over a period of time from nearly five million to perhaps one million.
09/06/2014 17:24 BST

What the Rise of Ukip Means for the Political Establishment

The recent European elections were certainly a wake-up call for the major political parties and the Westminster political class in the UK, but it takes a bit of interpretation to be clear exactly what the message the electorate delivered was.
28/05/2014 17:26 BST

Why Britain Needs the Pound Campaign

To enable us to compete in the world and to get back to full employment, we need an exchange rate which is about one third lower than it is now. A more competitive pound would bring back more, better quality jobs to the UK, contributing to a thriving economy.
16/05/2014 17:45 BST

An Alternative UK Economic Strategy

What is going to happen to the UK economy over the next few years? The general consensus is that the worst of the recent crisis is behind us and we can therefore expect modest growth ahead. However, my pamphlet published by Civitas on 25 March called 'There is an Alternative', paints a much gloomier picture of the future if policies remain as they are. With a radical change in policy, which the pamphlet explains in detail, the UK economy could grow at 4% to 5% per annum on a sustainable basis, unemployment could be made fall dramatically, debts would get paid off and the economy would become far better balanced. How much of all of this is realistic?
13/05/2014 17:47 BST