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Impact assessments of Brexit on the UK ‘don’t exist’

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David DavisImage copyright House of Commons

The government has not carried out an impact assessment of leaving the EU on the UK economy, Brexit Secretary David Davis has told MPs.

“There’s no sort of systematic impact assessment,” Mr Davis told the Brexit committee.

He said the government had produced a “sectoral analysis” of different industries but not a “forecast” of what would happen when the UK leaves the EU.

A “very major contingency planning operation” is in place, he added.

Committee chairman Hilary Benn asked whether impact assessments had been carried into various parts of the economy, listing the automotive, aerospace and financial sectors.

“I think the answer’s going to be no to all of them,” Mr Davis responded.

When Mr Benn suggested this was “strange”, the minister said formal assessments were not needed to know that “regulatory hurdles” would have an impact.

“I am not a fan of economic models because they have all proven wrong,” he added.

There has been a long-running row over the government’s Brexit studies and their publication.

On 1 November MPs passed a motion to release “Brexit impact assessments” to the Brexit Committee of MPs. In response, the government said this motion “misunderstood” what the documents actually were, but has since provided an edited set of reports to the committee.

Mr Davis told the committee this represented “getting as close as we can to meeting what we took to be the intent of Parliament”.

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