Source: PA Wire/PA Images
BRITAIN’S BREXIT MINISTER David Davis has come under fire after admitting to MPs that the government has made no official assessment of the impact of Brexit on various sectors of the UK economy.
Davis was called before the House of Commons Brexit committee after MPs were dissatisfied with the “sectoral analysis” provided to the committee by the government.
He told the committee that “he wasn’t a fan of economic models because they have all proven wrong”, citing the 2008 economic crisis as an example of their inability to model “paradigm” changes.
The government initially said it would provide the committee with an 850-page assessment of Brexit’s impact on 58 economic sectors.
However, Davis said the studies were merely “sectoral analyses”, which did not predict the effects of leaving the EU.
When asked about whether there were impact assessments completed on the financial services, automotive and aerospace, Davis said: “I think the answer is going to be no for all of them.”
“You don’t need to do an impact assessment, a formal impact assessment to understand that if there is a regulatory hurdle between our producers and a market that it will have an impact, it all has an effort,” David told MPs.
“The assessment of that effect, I think I have said it to you before, is not as straightforward as people imagine.
“I am not a fan of economic models because they have all proven wrong.”
The fact that no impact studies had been for aviation, automobiles and financial services drew derision.
Commission chair Hilary Benn said: ”On the most fundamental change that we are facing as a country you’ve just told us that the government hasn’t undertaken any impact assessments at all.”
Davis said there would be such studies “at some stage” when Brexit negotiations move on to the second phase, but other lawmakers also hit out.
“Davis is either grossly incompetent or someone who struggles with the truth and treats MPs with contempt,” said Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas.
“Either way, he should be out of his job.”
Former Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron also called for Davis to step down, writing on Twitter that under his leadership “the Brexit department has turned incompetence into an art form.”
MPs have also approached House of Commons speaker John Bercow about the possibility of a contempt motion against Davis, but the move appears unlikely after the committee voted it down by 11 members to eight.
With reporting by AFP.