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