The Brexit deal negotiated on behalf of alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson has been panned because of its potential hit on the UK economy: the effect has been estimated at around three times worse than the 2008 recession. The problem is that there can be little certainty without the Government’s own figures. So Labour MEP Julie Ward put in an FOI request to find out what their assessment would look like.
An absolute Muppet. And Elmo from Sesame Street
Her request were straightforward: “All documents in relation to the Government’s economic impact assessment of leaving the European Union based upon the Agreement of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community dated 19th October 2019”.
Stephen Barclay - asleep at the controls
There was more. “How much of the economic impact assessments have been commissioned internally within the Civil Service and which have been commissioned externally … When the economic impact assessment (a) began and (b) finished … The scope and terms of reference for each sector of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland economy … If the economic impact assessment of the new (19th October 2019) has not started when [will] the Government commence this analysis?”
Imagine her shock when the reply arrived. “The Department for Exiting the European Union does not hold information within the scope of your request. There is no ‘economic impact assessment’ based upon the Withdrawal Agreement, nor is there a date for an ‘economic impact assessment’ to take place”. The most blind of blind Brexits.
Have a think about that. This is a deal destined to hurt millions of citizens and their families, and Bozo The Clown and his pals care so little about them that they are not bothering with an economic impact assessment. It’ll mean a serious hit to much of the population? Well, that’s their problem, eh? They wanted Brexit, and here it is.
Ms Ward was singularly unimpressed. “The government doesn't even know, or don't even seem to care, what their new Brexit deal will mean for the economy, business and families across the country … a complete dereliction of duty that the Government have no plans to do an economic impact assessment on their deal ensuring the public will not know what it means for them in the upcoming general election”. And there was more.
“A government's number one responsibility is to protect its citizens but the Tories seem to be happy to take a leap of faith without knowing the true cost of Brexit no matter the consequences … The Conservatives seem to have no regard to facts or figures on the most important issue the country faces today and potentially for the next decade. The public are being kept in the dark about the true cost of Brexit”. Quite.
As Business Insider has pointed out, “Almost all economists agree that a deal of this nature will cause significant damage to the UK economy”, while the Independent has added “Ministers have dropped plans to publish a Treasury assessment, amid estimates of a hit to the UK economy of anything between £70bn and £130bn, leaving people thousands of pounds worse off”. Many other media outlets are keeping schtum.
The Tories claim to care. But only about themselves. I’ll just leave that one there.
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