- David Davis says Brexit impact papers on individual sectors do not exist.
- The Brexit Secretary has previously claimed that assessments exist in “excruciating” detail.
- Davis told MPs that he is “not a fan” of economic models.
- Government did not assess impact of leaving customs union before Cabinet decided to make it Brexit policy, Davis said.
LONDON – Brexit Secretary David Davis said today that the UK government has not produced a single economic assessment into how Brexit might impact individual sectors of the British economy.
Davis said that he is “not a fan of economic models because they have all been proven wrong.”
The minister told the Brexit committee that the “usefulness” of producing detailed impact assessments into specific sectors was “near-zero,” despite having previously suggested that such assessments existed “in excruciating detail”.
“We’ve already got 50, nearly 60 sector analyses already done,” Davis claimed in June of this year.
In October, Davis said the assessments had been conducted in “excruciating” detail.
The Brexit Secretary also revealed that the government did not assess the potential impact of leaving the customs union prior to the Cabinet taking the decision to make it official Brexit policy.
“Isn’t that quite extraordinary?” committe chair Hilary Benn asked Davis, to which the Brexit Secretary responded: “no, no.”
Britain’s decision to leave the customs union is one of the major obstacles in the way of protecting the invisible border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.
Davis under pressure
Davis accused the committee of falsely believing the impact assessments existed, despite having previously said they did.
“Do not draw the conclusion that because you’ve used the word impact, you have an impact assessment,” he told the committee made up of MPs from across the Commons.
To produce assessments into certain Brexit outcomes could impact individual sectors “was not a sensible use of resources,” Davis told Benn.
Davis repeatedly responded with “no” as Benn read out a list of sectors, including aerospace and financial services and asked whether the government had produced an impact assessment on them.
This exchange between Hilary Benn and David Davis after the Brexit Secretary revealed the Government has not conducted any sector-by-sector Brexit impact assessments is astounding. pic.twitter.com/quXrJ4S2Qc
— Jack Maidment (@jrmaidment) December 6, 2017
However, he said that certain impact assessments may be done in future, claiming the government will “do the best we can to quantify” how certain Brexit outcomes could affect the economy “at some stage.”
Watch David Davis on Brexit impact assessments
“Do not draw theconclusion that because you used the word ‘impact’ that youhave written an impact assessment,” David Davis tells MPshttps://t.co/AjIiLeEuIbpic.twitter.com/dizIOGRYuUhttps://t.co/0kS8FRIyCV
— HMY Britannia #FBPE (@HMYBritanniaUK) December 6, 2017