May’s government refuses to share with parliament its Brexit impact assessment

STEPHANIE LECOCQ

British Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis at a press conference with the United Kingdom under Article 50, dubbed the 'Brexit' at EU Commission in Brussels, Belgium, 19 June 2017. The first stage of the negotiations concerned the fate of European expatriates in the UK and Britons settled in Europe, the question of the Irish border and the 'financial regulation' between the UK and Europe.

May’s government refuses to share with parliament its Brexit impact assessment


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In a testimony in parliament on Wednesday, David Davis made clear his government has no idea what the economic impact of Brexit will be.

“There’s nothing … there’s no such systematic impact assessments that I’m aware of,” Davis said.

David Davis admitted that little over a year before the UK leaves the European Union, there has been no impact assessment on the harm this will cause to the British economy.

“We have been clear that the impact assessments don’t exist,” 10 Downing Street confirmed. Mrs. Theresa May repeated the same argument during question time.

Since November 1st, the opposition has passed a motion demanding the handing over of an impact assessment that has been conducted by the government. Theresa May’s government is now claiming this 850-page forecast does not exit.

Mr. Davis claims the report that has been produced by the government is a sectoral analysis but not a forecast. That is not being delivered to the opposition.

The Brexit Secretary said that an assessment of the possible damage would have “zero” significance because of the “paradigmatic” significance of leaving the EU.

The Labour, Liberal, and Scottish National Party opposition made clear that a forecast is urgently needed. And they also pointed out that the government had implied there has been an impact assessment in place. According to the BBC, in four separate occasions from October 2016 to June 2017, Davis spoke of an analysis of the “implications” and the “impact” of Brexit on 58 sectors of the economy.

What’s more, the two chapters of the 850-page report he has received he apparently failed to read and, therefore, could not testify on their content. The only thing he did now about the report’s content is that its conclusions would be “unhelpful” to the negotiations.

The leader of the opposition told Theresa May in parliament that the claim there was no impact assessment and refusing to hand over the report is “a shambles.”

When Chancellor Philip Hammond was challenged whether he had conducted an impact assessment, he echoed the same argument suggesting that there is modelling of various scenarios but no forecast.

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