Seema Malhotra questioned the Rt Hon David Davis, Secretary of State for the Department for Exiting the EU, today in an urgent sitting of the select committee for Exiting the EU, over why there has been no work on sectoral assessments of the impact of Brexit on the economy.
“David Davis has admitted the Government have not conducted a single assessment on the impact of leaving the European Union to our economy. For a year he’s been saying the work is underway. Then he said the reports were completed. Then he said they couldn’t be shared. Now he says not just that the reports don’t exist but that the work hasn’t yet started. We are through the looking glass.
“This Government are the blind leading the blind, making policy decisions without facts or evidence. This is the most important change for our country for generations and people need confidence that the Government is prepared. Instead it appears they are taking the biggest gamble with our economy and risking the prosperity of businesses and families across the country.
“Parliament and the public need clarity and complete honesty from ministers. Brexit is too important to be dealt with in this way. If the Government has genuinely not done assessments of the impact of leaving the Single Market and Customs Union or the impact of no deal on the economy, it is an utter dereliction of duty.”
“When asked about impact assessments on 25th October the Secretary of State told the Brexit Committee that they existed “in excruciating detail”. Today he said they didn’t exist at all and had never existed. He also said no assessment had been made by the Government before Ministers decided to leave the EU’s customs union. Moreover he said that he didn’t believe in forecasts because they were always wrong. What is emerging is an ideological stance on the part of leading Brexiteers which is so fearful and distrustful of economic assessment that winging it has become a point of principle. It is extraordinary to take such a reckless and cavalier approach to the most important issue facing the country in decades.”