Labour MPs – Treasury must publish its analysis of the Brexit impact on the economy

25 Labour MPs have written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer calling on him to publish the Treasury’s analysis of the impact on the British economy of different Brexit outcomes.

In the aftermath of the Government’s failure to publish in full the impact assessments of Brexit on different sectors of the UK economy, David Davis gave evidence to the Brexit Select Committee and denied the existence of any analysis of the different Brexit outcomes on the economy. Later that week, however, Philip Hammond appeared before the Treasury Select Committee had “modelled and analysed a wide range of potential alternative structures between the European Union and the United Kingdom.”

In their letter, Labour MPs from across the party, including Chris Leslie, Catherine West and Maria Eagle, ask the Chancellor to publish this analysis so that their constituents can know what the impact of Brexit will be on them and their families.

In their letter, the 25 Labour MPs, leading supporters of the Open Britain campaign, write:

“The public have a right to know what the impact of Brexit will be for them and for their families.

“Without access to the latest taxpayer-funded analysis and research, Parliament will be hamstrung in its ability to scrutinise the Government’s approach and to present the facts to our constituents.

“It is vital that light is shed on the modelling and analysis that the Treasury has carried out. The best way to achieve that would be for the analysis to be published in its entirety.”

/ends

Notes to editors

The full text of the letter, with the list of signatories, is below:

Dear Chancellor of the Exchequer,

We are writing to call on the Treasury to publish the findings of the analysis it has carried out of the impact of different Brexit outcomes for the UK economy.

Whatever happens in the negotiations, it is clear that leaving the European Union will have profound and wide-ranging economic consequences for our country. The public will rightly expect that the Government has assessed, to the best of its ability, what these consequences will be. The Treasury carried out analysis during the referendum of different possible outcomes, including continued Single Market membership, completing a Canada-style free trade agreement, and falling back onto WTO terms. However, in March, the Brexit Secretary dismissed this analysis, saying the Treasury’s forecasts had been shown to not be “robust.”

As you know, there has been a great deal of confusion in recent months about what analysis, if any, has been undertaken by the Government. The Brexit Secretary said recently that no analysis has been carried out by his department of the impact for different sectors of different Brexit outcomes., but that “we will at some stage … do the best we can to quantify the effect of different negotiating outcomes as we come up with them.”

However, in your evidence to the Treasury Select Committee the following day, you confirmed that the Treasury has carried out analysis of the overall economic impact of different outcomes. You said your department has “modelled and analysed a wide range of potential alternative structures between the European Union and the United Kingdom” and that this “informs our negotiating position.”  

A number of questions arise from this:

  • Has this work been carried out independently by the Treasury?
  • Does this analysis differ significantly from the Treasury’s pre-referendum analysis?
  • Has the Treasury shared the analysis with DExEU and No 10? If not, how can it be said to be “inform[ing] our negotiating position”?
  • Does the modelling include a sectoral analysis, looking at the impact of Brexit on specific sectors of the UK economy? And if so, which sectors?
  • Why has this analysis not been mentioned by a single DExEU Minister during the ongoing debate over the impact assessments?
  • Has the Prime Minister read the conclusions of the analysis of each modelled outcome?

The public have a right to know what the impact of Brexit will be for them and for their families. But without access to the latest taxpayer-funded analysis and research, Parliament will be hamstrung in its ability to scrutinise the Government’s approach and to present the facts to our constituents. The fact that Parliament was not even made aware of the work being carried out by the Treasury until last week, even whilst the 58 ‘impact assessments’ were being extensively debated, is concerning and serves to underline how important it is that MPs are not kept in the dark any longer.

It is therefore vital that light is shed on the modelling and analysis that the Treasury has carried out. The best way to achieve that would be for the analysis to be published in its entirety.

We look forward to your prompt response to these important questions.

Yours Sincerely,

Chris Leslie MP, Ben Bradshaw MP, Lyn Brown MP, Ruth Cadbury MP, Ann Coffey MP, Neil Coyle MP, Mary Creagh MP, Stella Creasy MP, Geraint Davies MP, Stephen Doughty MP, Maria Eagle MP, Louise Ellman MP, Mike Gapes MP, Kate Green MP, Liz Kendall MP, Kerry McCarthy MP, Alison McGovern MP, Madeleine Moon MP, Ian Murray MP, Angela Smith MP, Gareth Thomas MP, Chuka Umunna MP, Catherine West MP, Matt Western MP, Daniel Zeichner MP.

A transcript of the Brexit Secretary’s dismissal in March of previous Treasury analysis is here:

http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/exiting-the-european-union-committee/the-uks-negotiating-objectives-for-its-withdrawal-from-the-eu/oral/48859.html

A transcript of the Brexit Secretary’s recent appearance before the Brexit Select Committee is here:

http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/exiting-the-european-union-committee/department-for-exiting-the-european-union-sectoral-analyses/oral/75186.html

A transcript of the Chancellor’s appearance before the Treasury Select Committee is here: 

http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/treasury-committee/budget-autumn-2017/oral/75188.html