The Brexit impact report – Not good news
For those proclaiming Brexit doom and catastrophe, this week may mark a fairly significant vindication for their ‘Remoaning’, as the government’s own Brexit impact report, of whose very existence was denied by Brexit secretary David Davis just a few months ago, has now been released.
There seems to be little pleasure in being proven correct that we’re essentially economically doomed, but small pleasures in an atmosphere of rank incompetence and buffoonery must be seized upon one suspects.
As reported in The Guardian, “Under the worst scenario – a WTO-type arrangement – GDP could decline by a cumulative 7.7% over 15 years, the analysis found; while under an EEA deal it would be 1.6%.”
To put that into some level of context, UK GDP shrank by 4.2% at the height of the financial crash after 2008.
The caveat of the report is that its authors in Whitehall, the civil servants tasked with compiling the report, have insisted that the outcome of the UK’s exit from the single market and customs union still remains wildly unpredictable due to the unprecedented nature of the departure.
That does of course mean that the results could be even worse, as well as better than they are predicting.
According to The FT, Officials estimate a US trade deal would help the economy by only 0.2 per cent in the long term and every other significant economy would boost it further by between 0.1 per cent and 0.4 per cent. These benefits are likely to prove ridiculously small in the context of what we currently benefit from within the EU’s tariff free markets, the biggest trading bloc in the world.
Marcus Fysh, Conservative MP for Yeovil and prominent Brexit supporter, recently phoned into the James O’Brien show to champion the benefits of leaving the EU, only to highlight Australia’s new trade deal with the US as evidence that the UK can benefit from new trade deals.
It was reasonably pointed out that this is the same US who recently announced a trade war with the rest of the world, whilst the benefits of such a deal for Australia were revealed to be modest. Asked whether a new deal with the US or Australia, or even both, would supersede the one we enjoy with the EU, Fysh chose to ignore the point completely.
When asked via Twitter by one of his followers whether he could “put forward an argument as to why your constituents will be measurably better off after Brexit?” he simply replied “yes”.
The true results of leaving the EU won’t be felt until after March 2019 when the negotiations have come to a conclusion and the UK formally leaves the bloc, whether with a transition deal or without, but it certainly seems at this point that there is little or no evidence to suggest that we will be materially better off as a result.