UK to be worse off post Brexit: Analysis
LONDON: Rival groups in the Brexit debate came to a head again on Tuesday after a leaked official analysis claimed that Brexit will leave the United Kingdom worse off.
BuzzFeed reported the analysis by the department for exiting the European Union, titled “EU Exit Analysis - Cross Whitehall Briefing” dated January 2018 looked at three possible Brexit scenarios. All scenarios suggested that the country’s economy will take a hit outside the EU.
It said the UK’s national income would be 8% lower under a “no deal” scenario, around 5% lower with a free trade agreement with the EU and about 2% lower with a soft Brexit option of single market membership over a 15-year period.
The analysis, allegedly leaked by pro-EU elements, was promptly dismissed by proBrexit MPs, who called it “highly suspicious”, while it added more grist to the anti-Brexit forces who are keen to ensure as close a link with the EU as possible.
As the opposition demanded publication of the analysis, an embarrassed Theresa May government chose to remain silent, but unnamed sources pointed out that the analysis did not cover May’s preferred option of a bespoke deal amounting to a “deep and special partnership” with the EU, whose contours, however, remain unknown.
The government’s Brexit initiatives also came under criticism as the House of Lords debated the withdrawal bill, which seeks to transpose EU law into British law. Amendments have been tabled to give parliament the last say on accepting or rejecting the final deal.
The leak was raised in the House of Commons, with Labour Party MPs insisting on the government releasing its analysis on the impact of Brexit on various sectors.