U.K. Treasury Asked to Reveal Its Own Analysis of Brexit Impact

(Bloomberg) -- Labour lawmakers have urged Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond to publish the Treasury’s analysis of the potential impact of Brexit on the U.K. economy.

For now there are too few of them -- 25 out of 259 -- to force the government to act yet it’s another sign of how the main opposition to Prime Minister Theresa May is seeking to exploit the fact that the Conservatives lost their parliamentary majority in June’s election.

“Without access to the latest taxpayer-funded analysis and research, Parliament will be hamstrung in its ability to scrutinize the government’s approach and to present the facts to our constituents,” the 25 lawmakers said in a letter to the chancellor, published by the pro-European Open Britain campaign group. “It is vital that light is shed on the modeling and analysis that the Treasury has carried out.”
The government is vulnerable to attack from both Labour and some in its own party for its apparent lack of planning, and refusal to release information about the potential impact of Brexit.

Just last week a series of impact assessments examining the quantitative impact of the U.K.’s EU exit on the 58 sector were revealed to contain very little of substance. The government had tried to keep them under wraps but were forced to give way after a vote in Parliament.

Now Hammond is coming under scrutiny after telling the Treasury committee that his ministry had “modeled and analyzed a wide range of potential alternative structures between the European Union and the U.K.," which inform Britain’s negotiating position. This has given Labour an opening.

In response the Treasury referred the lawmakers to Hammond’s comments, made on Dec. 6. The members of Parliament are also demanding answers to the following questions:

  • Has this work been carried out independently by the Treasury?
  • Does this analysis differ significantly from the Treasury’s pre-referendum analysis?
  • Has the Treasury shared the analysis with the Brexit department and the prime minister’s office?
  • Does the modeling include a sectoral analysis, looking at the impact of Brexit on specific sectors of the U.K. economy? And if so, which sectors?

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