But May shrugs off White­hall’s gloomy re­port that Brexit is go­ing to hit Bri­tain WHAT­EVER the deal

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

THERESA May has sought to play down the leak of the lat­est Brexit anal­y­sis af­ter a White­hall study con­cluded Bri­tain would be worse off what­ever deal is struck with Brus­sels.

The Prime Min­is­ter told the weekly meet­ing of Cabi­net that the pa­per rep­re­sented “ini­tial work” by of­fi­cials which had not been signed off by min­is­ters.

She said the doc­u­ment had not looked at the im­pact on the econ­omy if the Govern­ment achieves the sort of “be­spoke” trad­ing agree­ment with the EU it is seek­ing.

The leak of the eco­nomic im­pact anal­y­sis, drawn up for the Depart­ment for Ex­it­ing the EU, trig­gered re­newed de­mands from op­po­si­tion par­ties to re­lease the full de­tails.

The doc­u­ment, seen by the Buz­zFeed News web­site, con­cluded eco­nomic growth would be lower un­der a range of po­ten­tial sce­nar­ios.

Even if the UK was able to ne­go­ti­ate a com­pre­hen­sive free trade agree­ment, it es­ti­mates growth would be down 5% over the next 15 years.

That would rise to 8% if Bri­tain left with­out a deal and forced to fall back on World Trade Or­gan­i­sa­tion rules.


Al­ter­na­tively, if the UK were to re­tain ac­cess to the sin­gle mar­ket through mem­ber­ship of the Euro­pean Eco­nomic Area, the loss would be just 2%.

A No 10 spokesman said: “The Prime Min­is­ter noted me­dia cov­er­age of a re­port pur­port­ing to show the im­pact of Bri­tain leav­ing EU. “The PM said this was ini­tial work, not ap­proved by min­is­ters, which only con­sid­ers off-the-shelf sce­nar­ios.

“No anal­y­sis was made of the be­spoke agree­ment we seek as a mat­ter of Govern­ment pol­icy.”

But op­po­si­tion par­ties said the pub­lic were en­ti­tled to know the true cost of leav­ing the EU.

Matthew Pen­ny­cook, Labour shadow Brexit min­is­ter, said: “Min­is­ters should pub­lish this in­for­ma­tion im­me­di­ately and al­low for a full de­bate in Par­lia­ment about its im­pli­ca­tions.”

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