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By-sector Brexit impact forecasts do not exist, says David Davis
06 December 2017, 01:53 | Opal Carroll
David Davis says the UK hasn't produced a single Brexit impact assessment as he's 'not a fan' of them
David Davis has revealed the government has not assessed the impact of Brexit on different key sectors of the British economy.
"No quantitative assessment" was carried out, Davis told lawmakers on Parliament's Brexit Committee when asked whether any assessment was made prior to the decision.
He said the government had produced a "sectoral analysis" of different industries but not a "forecast" of what would happen when the United Kingdom leaves the EU.
Davis also admitted that, despite widespread economic fears, the government has not undertaken a sector by sector analysis of the impact of Brexit.
But Committee chairman Hilary Benn challenged Mr Davis at the hearing on Wednesday as to whether the documents received constituted impact assessments, or whether the assessments had been undertaken.
"It will have an effect, the assessment of that effect is not as straightforward as people imagine".
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Instead, he said, officials will "at some stage" during the forthcoming second phase of Brexit negotiations, dealing with trade, conduct work to quantify the effects of different possible outcomes, such as a free trade agreement with the European Union or moving to World Trade Organisation rules.
"You don't need to do a formal impact assessment to understand that if there is a regulatory hurdle between our products and a market it will have an impact", he said.
That echoed comments in early November from Robin Walker, a junior Dexeu minister, who tried to explain that the sectoral analysis was "not a series of 58 economic impact assessments". When you have a paradigm change as in 2008, all the models are wrong.
"We know not the size, but the order of magnitude of the impact", he added. "As we are dealing with here [with a] free trade agreement or a WTO outcome, it's a paradigm change".
Lib Dem committee member Wera Hobhouse accused Davis of "misleading Parliament" over the studies.
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