Dear Secretary of State,
We are writing to call on the Department for Exiting the European Union 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. It is right that the Government assesses, to the best of its ability, what these consequences will be, and how any changes to our trading relationship with the EU will impact people’s jobs, businesses and sectors of the economy.
Today, BuzzFeed News reported the main conclusions of a government paper entitled ‘EU Exit Analysis – Cross Whitehall Briefing’. At least ten key questions arise from these revelations:
- Why does the analysis not consider the impact of a ‘bespoke trade deal’, given the Government claims this is the most likely outcome? Has an analysis of such an outcome been carried out separately?
- Has the Treasury shared the analysis with No 10, and has the Prime Minister read it?
- Has the analysis been “inform[ing] our negotiating position”, as Philip Hammond claimed on 5 December 2017?
- Given that all the outcomes considered by your department would deliver a worse situation than we currently enjoy, and that the Prime Minister has accepted that any ‘bespoke’ deal would necessarily mean worse access to the Single Market than a Norway-style relationship, do you now accept that we will not have the ‘exact same benefits’ after we leave?
- Given that the modelling includes a sectoral analysis, why did the Brexit Secretary say on 6 December 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”?
- Why was this analysis not mentioned by a single DExEU minister during the debate over the sectoral impact assessments in autumn 2017?
- The analysis reportedly concludes that under a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU, UK growth would be 5% lower over the next 15 years compared to current forecasts. If this turns out to be the best deal that can be negotiated, would the Government reconsider its position on the Single Market?
- The analysis reportedly concludes that a trade deal with the US would increase GDP by about 0.2%, while other deals non-EU countries would add, in total, a further 0.1% to 0.4% to GDP over the long term. Do you agree that trade deals will not come close to compensating for leaving the Single Market and Customs Union?
- In March 2017, you dismissed the Treasury’s pre-referendum forecast that ‘no deal’ would mean GDP would be 7.5% lower by 2030 as being not “robust”. Your department’s new analysis says it would in fact be 8% lower by 2033. Do you think this is “robust”?
- A government source cited by Buzzfeed described the analysis as “an early draft”. Has a more recent draft been produced?
It is not acceptable for ministers to withhold this analysis from the public. People have a right to know what the impact of Brexit will be for them and for their families. It is utterly unacceptable for our constituents to have to rely on leaks and newspaper reports to develop an understanding of how Brexit will affect them and their children’s futures.
Crucially, Parliament, which will have to vote on the withdrawal agreement that is reached later this year, must have access to the latest taxpayer-funded analysis and research. Without it, we will be hamstrung in our ability to scrutinise the Government’s approach and to present the facts to our constituents.
So, we look forward to your prompt response to our questions. And we request that the analysis is now published in its entirety.
Chuka Umunna MP, Co-chair of the APPG
Anna Soubry MP, Co-chair of the APPG
Jonathan Edwards MP, Vice-chair of the APPG
Stephen Gethins MP, Vice-chair of the APPG
Caroline Lucas MP, Vice-chair of the APPG
Jo Swinson MP, Vice-chair of the APPG
Heidi Alexander MP
Rushanara Ali MP
Luciana Berger MP
Ben Bradshaw MP
Ruth Cadbury MP
Ken Clarke MP
Ann Coffey MP
Neil Coyle MP
Stella Creasy MP
Stephen Doughty MP
Maria Eagle MP
Louise Ellman MP
Tim Farron MP
Mike Gapes MP
Preet Gill MP
Kate Green MP
Lilian Greenwood MP
Helen Hayes MP
Wera Hobhouse MP
Rupa Huq MP
Darren Jones MP
Liz Kendall MP
Stephen Kinnock MP
David Lammy MP
Chris Leslie MP
Seema Malhotra MP
Alison McGovern MP
Madeleine Moon MP
Ian Murray MP
Antoinette Sandbach MP
Gavin Shuker MP
Tulip Siddiq MP
Andy Slaughter MP
Angela Smith MP
Alex Sobel MP
Wes Streeting MP
Gareth Thomas MP
Catherine West MP
Matt Weston MP
Martin Whitfield MP
Dr Paul Williams MP
Phil Wilson MP
Daniel Zeichner MP