What happens with no Brexit deal?
In an astonishing admission that has shocked many in politics and observers of the developing Brexit environment, David Davis, Brexit Secretary, has admitted that the government have done no economic assessment of crashing out of the EU with ‘no deal’.
Davis was answering questions put to him by the Brexit select committee; a group of MP’s tasked with scrutinising the process of leaving the EU, when he made the ridiculous admission. Davis insisted it was not possible to calculate the impact of the Brexit talks failing – adding: “I may be able to do so in about a year’s time.”
In baffling scenes the Brexit secretary was unable to explain exactly why a government that has repeatedly insisted it is willing to walk away from negotiations with no deal has done absolutely no research in to the possible impact it may have. Currently the implications are that the UK would have to revert to WTO (World Trade Organisation) tariffs which could range anywhere from 10 to 40 per cent depending on the industry involved.
Hillary Benn, one of the MP’s sitting on the committee asked the Brexit secretary a series of questions which were replied to with hilariously vague answers. Examples include:
So there will be tariffs? For example UK dairy and meat producers could face 30-40% increases and car makers 10%? To which Davis replied nonchalantly “That is approximately correct”.
Can you confirm that would mean a loss of passporting rights for financial services? To which Davis replied “We would expect that to be the case, we are uncertain”.
Can you confirm that UK citizens would no longer have access to the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) scheme? To which Davis replied “Probably, we haven’t looked at it”.
Finally, and perhaps most terrifyingly - Have you made an economic estimate of no deal? To which Davis replied “Under my time, no”.
Considering the chaos unleashed by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement that she will be seeking a second Scottish independence referendum many could be forgiven for assuming that the government knew what it was doing with regards to the biggest diplomatic challenge facing the country in almost a century but this seems to not be the case.
Whether it’s a positive or negative thing that the minister in charge of running the process of leaving the EU is completely honest about having no idea of what will happen in the case of negotiations collapsing is open to interpretation.