Brexit: Davis admits there are no economic impact studies

10 December, 2017, 03:19 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Britain’s opposition Labour Party Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer

The U.K. Cabinet chose to leave the European Union's customs union without first undertaking a quantitative assessment of the impact of such a decision, Brexit Secretary David Davis said.

Labour has said it would press for remaining in the single market for a transition period to smooth Britain's departure in March 2019, and then would aim for a customs union, rather an the existing customs union, that would help the party secure what it calls "a jobs-first Brexit".

He told the Brexit select committee "forecasts" of the European Union divorce effect on different industrial sectors did not exist.

Davis said that he is "not a fan of economic models because they have all been proven wrong".

Earlier this week, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) called for clarity on Brexit negotiations as the momentum in private sector growth has slowed in the three months to November. In October he told the same committee Mrs May had read "summary outcomes" which went into "excruciating detail", and last December said his department was "carrying out about 57 sets of analyses".


He said that there are formal definitions of impact assessments and the work done by the government does not fit those definitions.

While Labour says its policy offers flexibility, May's government counters that staying in the customs union, which imposes tariffs on trade with external countries while allowing tariff-free movement of goods, would betray the Brexit vote and stop Britain from agreeing trade deals with other countries.

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

MLex reporter Matthew Holehouse tweeted that "the key point is these "impact assessments" were used as a shield for a year to tell business all their concerns and needs were being listened to and entered into the Brexit masterplan".

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