Published: Wed, December 06, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

United Kingdom government has no sector-by-sector studies on Brexit impact

United Kingdom government has no sector-by-sector studies on Brexit impact

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.

The U.K. official shepherding Britain's departure from the European Union says no formal assessments have been made on the economic impact of leaving the 28-nation bloc.

The Brexit secretary said the government had produced a "sectoral analysis" of some industries but had not forecast what could happen under different outcomes after March 2019.

Davis said an "impact assessment" was a formal Whitehall term for a document and they did not exist when it came to Brexit.

But asked by the Brexit select committee today whether he had conducted impact assessments on areas of the economy such as auto manufacturing or aerospace, Davis said: "No to all of them".

The Brexit secretary said: "Not that I'm aware of". "Without hindering our negotiating position and without compromising commercial confidentially or sensitivity".

"No", Davis replied, explaining that such models were "not as straightforward as people imagine" due to the many variables. "I am not a fan of economic models because they have all proven wrong".

In October, Davis said the assessments had been conducted in "excruciating" detail.

But today he told the committee that "no systematic impact assessments" had in fact been carried out. When you have a paradigm change as in 2008, all the models are wrong.

"The free trade agreements carried out by the European Union have not been particularly beneficial to the United Kingdom", he said.

"One of the reasons for the concern about the city is that we need to protect the tax revenue base there, because it's very very large and those calculations will only be possible when we know what the range of options are, whether it's alignment... mutual recognition of a different sort or whether it's complete convergence". "Whether it is through incompetence or insincerity, David Davis has been misleading Parliament from the start".

Mr Davis was questioned by the cross-party committee.

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