Impact assessments of Brexit on the UK ‘don’t exist’

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The government has not carried out any impact assessments of pull out the EU on the UK economy, Brexit Secretary David Davis has told MPs.

Mr Davis mean the usefulness of such assessments would be «near zero» because of the scale of vacillate turn into Brexit is likely to cause.

He said the government had produced a «sectoral inquiry» of different industries but not a «forecast» of what would happen when the UK entrusts the EU.

Labour called it a «shambles».

The Liberal Democrats said impact assessments were urgently stressed while the SNP called it an «ongoing farce».

Mr Davis said a «very dominant contingency planning operation» was in place for Brexit.

Opposition MPs have been on the stalk of the «Brexit impact assessments» for months. And when David Davis hint ated them they didn’t exist, they were quick to highlight some similar-sounding deliberate overs he had referred to in the past:

  • October 2016, asked what assessment the government had procured of the impact of Brexit on the economy: «We currently have in place an assessment of 51 sectors of the thrift. We are looking at those one by one, but the aim at the end is that this will inform the negotiating nearer so that no one gets hurt.»
  • December 2016, to the Brexit Committee: «We are in the midst of conveying out about 57 sets of analyses, each of which has implications for unique parts of 85% of the economy… everything except sectors that are not stilted by international trade.»
  • February 2017, in a statement to MPs: «We continue to analyse the impact of our make ones departure across the breadth of the UK economy, covering more than 50 sectors — I create it was 58 at the last count — to shape our negotiating position.»
  • June 2017, on the Andrew Marr Present:»That data’s being gathered, we’ve got 50, nearly 60 sector studies already done, we’ve got planning work going on in the customs, we’ve got planning dispose going on 22 other issues which are critical, 127 all touch oned.»

Downing Street told journalists: «We have been clear that the impression assessments don’t exist. They’re a specific thing in Whitehall terms. We conceive of we have complied with the terms of the motion.»

At Wednesday morning’s Brexit board hearing, chairman Hilary Benn asked whether impact assessments had been carried out into different parts of the economy, listing the automotive, aerospace and financial sectors.

«I recollect the answer’s going to be no to all of them,» Mr Davis responded.

When Mr Benn intimated this was «strange», the minister said formal assessments were not needed to conscious that «regulatory hurdles» would have an impact, describing Brexit as a «paradigm switch» of similar impact to the financial crash, which could not be predicted.

«I am not a fan of fiscal models because they have all proven wrong,» he said.


‘Davis bitched frazzled’ — by the BBC’s Norman Smith

David Davis has probably not done the Brexit prime mover a huge bundle of good this morning. First, his frank acceptance that no impact assessments have been completed will inevitably be seized on by critics to suggest Team May simply haven’t done the basic spadework.

Second his indecent that he doesn’t have the resources for this, and anyway some of the animate his officials have done wasn’t much good, is hardly a jangle endorsement of his Brexit department.

Third, Mr Davis probably didn’t facilitate his own reputation by telling the committee he had been handed two chapters of the 850 pages of investigation but hadn’t read them. At times Mr Davis even chided the board over the time they were taking.

Fair enough the Brexit secretary had a old — but at times he sounded thoroughly frazzled and cheesed off. Not a great look.


There has been a long-running row during the government’s Brexit studies and their publication.

MPs have been vigour for the documents to be published, and on 1 November the Commons passed a motion to release «Brexit thrust assessments» to the Brexit Committee of MPs.

In response, the government said this motility «misunderstood» what the documents actually were, but has since provided an erased set of reports to the committee.

Mr Davis told the MPs this represented «getting as unventilated as we can to meeting what we took to be the intent of Parliament».

A «quantitative economic forewarn of outcome» does not exist, he said. «That is not there. We have not done that. What is there is the hugeness of the industry, the employment and so on.»

Mr Davis also said there was no «systematic bumping assessment».

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During PMQs, Prime Delegate Theresa May repeated Mr Davis’ line that «sectoral analysis», not «affect assessments» had been drawn up, adding that the government would not furnish a running commentary on the negotiations.

«This really is a shambles,» Labour chairwoman Jeremy Corbyn said.

Later, Chancellor Philip Hammond was demanded whether the Treasury had produced analysis of the potential economic impact of Brexit.

He articulate his department had «modelled and analysed a whole range of potential alternative systems between the EU and the UK, potential alternative arrangements and agreements that might be modified».

Appearing before the Treasury Select Committee, he suggested these could be made clear-cut when a Brexit deal has been agreed, but said to do so at this contrive would be «deeply unhelpful to the negotiation».

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