UK to be worse off post Brexit: Anal­y­sis

Hindustan Times (Gurgaon) - - World - Pra­sun Son­walkar pra­sun.son­walkar@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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.

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