UK Government has made no economic impact assessment into possibility that no trade deal can be found with EU
ONE of the UK’s foremost economists has slammed Brexit minister David Davis after it was revealed in parliament that he has made no impact assessment for the eventuality that no comprehensive trade deal can be reached with the EU.
John Kay, a member of the Standing Council on Scotland and Europe, set up by the Scottish Government after the UK’s vote for Brexit in 2016, said that claims by Davis that he could “quantify” what damage might be done by leaving the EU single market for World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, were “spurious” and that any “informed judgement” would have to conclude that these circumstances would be damaging.
Under cross examination in the UK Parliament’s Brexit committee and asked whether “leaving the EU with no deal would be a bad outcome”, David said: “We could not quantify the outcome.”
“I may be able to do so in about a year’s time,” he added.
“Spurious quantification is no substitute for informed judgment – and most informed judgement is that no deal would be damaging for British consumers and producers.” John Kay
Responding to the stammering performance by Davis, who was one of the leading Brexiteers brought into the new conservative Government last year, Kay Said “Of course you cannot quantify the impact.
“Any attempt to do so would simply involve making up bogus numbers. Spurious quantification is no substitute for informed judgment – and most informed judgement is that no deal would be damaging for British consumers and producers.”
The economist, who has taught at the University of Oxford and the London School of Economics added: “We are walking into an unknown future and anyone who claims otherwise is professing knowledge he or she cannot have.”
The UK leaving the EU without negotiating a comprehensive new deal or transition deal with the remaining 27 EU member states would force the UK Government to trade under WTO rules, which would see the UK exports subject to huge tariffs. During the examination, Davis admitted that tarrifs for agricultural produce would be “high”. Tarrifs on meat and dairy products, most of which the UK trades with the EU, would be as high as 40 per cent.
Yet, defending a possible ‘no deal’ Brexit, Davis said: “What you haven’t asked me about are the upsides.”
“We could actually manage this in such a way as to be better than a bad deal.” Brexit secretary David Davis
“We could actually manage this in such a way as to be better than a bad deal,” he added.
During cross examination, Davis also confessed he did not know what the impact would be if the UK left the EU without a deal for holiday makers, for data transfer in the vital tech industry, or for the EU’s thoroughly integrated air industries.
The EU is the UK’s largest market, representing some 40 per cent of UK business. Professor of Economics Simon Wren-Lewis said it was “almost a certainty” that an independent Scotland would have a stronger financial position that the results of a Hard Tory Brexit.
Picture courtesy of Jasn
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