Monday, 10 December, 2018

UK Seeks to Play Down Leaked Brexit Economic Study

An elephant GETTYCurrent UK law bans the sale of ivory apart from items made before 1947
Nellie Chapman | 01 February, 2018, 12:09

With no deal, growth would be reduced by 8%; with a free trade agreement, it would be 5%; and 2% if the United Kingdom remained a member of the European Economic Area.

"The committee agrees with the Prime Minister that further "appropriate analysis" should be made available when Parliament comes to scrutinise the terms of departure". The document will be presented this week only to cabinet ministers.

But Downing Street insisted the partial findings had not been based on Mrs May's preferred outcome of a "bespoke deal".

And he said there was "clearly" a campaign to overturn the 2016 European Union referendum by some people in the media and the House of Commons.

He said: "Self evidently we can do it in a Customs Union because we can do it now while we are still in the EU".

She added: "This is a matter for negotiation for the implementation period, but I'm clear there's a difference between those people who came prior to us leaving and those who will come when they know the no longer a member of the European Union".

On Tuesday, "Buzzfeed" leaked an embarrassing Brexit impact document that claimed the United Kingdom would be worse off, with or without a deal, post Brexit.

He added: "The PM has been dealt some tough cards and I support her mission to make the best of them".

Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable said: "The view that restricting immigration is a positive thing, something this Conservative government have only encouraged, has been starkly contradicted by their own analysis".

But Ms Sturgeon said the revelations a "devastating leak" and a "watershed moment in the Brexit negotiations".

While the figures are hardly inspiring, they actually represent an upgrade by the Treasury on its previous Brexit forecasts.

The PM is now facing demands to publish the Government's impact assessment - which says Britain will be worse off because of Brexit, no matter what the final exit deal is.

According to Buzzfeed, the leaked document, entitled EU Exit Analysis - Cross Whitehall Briefing and drawn up for the Department for Exiting the EU, suggests nearly every part of the economy would suffer.

If there is no deal and the United Kingdom resorts to generic World Trade Organization terms, growth will be 8 percent lower, it says, while if Britain remains in the European Union single market but as a non-bloc member, the decline will be 2 percent.

The report concludes that, compared to current forecasts, economic growth as a whole would be two per cent lower over the next 15 years if the United Kingdom remains within the EEA, five per cent lower outside the EEA but under a comprehensive free trade agreement, and eight per cent lower if no deal is agreed and the United Kingdom reverts to World Trade Organisation rules.

Iain Duncan Smith, a Tory pro-Brexit MP, said the leak was "highly suspicious" and previous forecasts about the impact of Brexit had proved to be "completely wrong".