Has the government assessed the economic impact of no Brexit deal?

17 March 2017
What was claimed

The Brexit Secretary said this week he has done no analytical work to assess the economic impact of failing to reach a deal with the EU over trade arrangements after Brexit.

Our verdict

The Brexit Secretary said this week the government has not done any further forecasts of the economic impact of a ‘no deal’ situation since the EU referendum. He said the government needs to fully plan for failed negotiations (which he said it is in the process of doing) before it can make such a forecast.

“Well, it was an astonishing admission at the Select Committee this week, from the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, that he's done absolutely no analytical work on the costs of the fallback position - which is exiting the European Union without any kind of deal - that they haven't done any work to see what that would actually cost and what the implications of that would be for our economy.”

Angela Eagle MP, 16 March 2017

David Davis did tell the Brexit Commons Select Committee this week that the government has not (since he became Brexit Secretary) undertaken an economic assessment of what will happen if there is no deal with the EU over Brexit.

The Brexit secretary says there have been discussions throughout different government departments of what would happen in the case of no deal being reached with the EU—and how the government could mitigate the impact of that.

His reasoning for not having done an economic assessment yet was that no agreement has yet been reached within government on exactly what their plan for mitigation would be if negotiations failed. He said it was unwise to attempt to predict the future of the British economy (and in particular the effects of falling back to default World Trade Organisation arrangements) without knowing what that strategy would be.

Mr Davis talked about implementation of electronic, speedy border checks for “trusted traders” to encourage easy cross border trade as an example of what he meant by mitigation.

He also said, “I have a fairly clear view of how it will work out. I just do not quantify it yet. We will give a quantification later on, but it is quite plain how it will work out.”

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