The chair of the Office of Budget Responsibility, Robert Chote, has given an interview to the New Statesman in which he predicts that leaving the Single Market and Customs Union will do more damage to the UK’s economy than any theoretical benefits a trade deal with another country could bring.
Commenting, Chuka Ummuna MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, said:
"This is a devasting blow to the credibility of the Government's case for taking us out of the Single Market and Customs Union.
"Robert Chote, the man the Government rely on for an independent assessment of its economic policies, could not be more clear. Any theoretical gains that might come from Brexit will be more than dwarfed by the loss of trade with the European Union that a hard Brexit will cause. If ministers have evidence to the contrary they have never revealed it in public.
"Britain needs to stay in the Single Market and Customs Union and Ministers need to abandon their ideological support for a reckless hard Brexit."
Notes to editors
An extract from the interview reads: "In terms of the net effect on GDP, the hits to demand have outweighed the boosts". Chote also cited "most of the work that trade economists have done" as showing that the costs of leaving the single market and the customs union are greater than the benefits. "The reduction in openness likely with the EU is likely to outweigh any increase elsewhere".
The full interview will not be published until tomorrow, but more extracts can be read, here:https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/economy/2018/01/obr-head-robert-chote-brexit-and-austerity-have-harmed-economic-growth