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Damian Green left red-faced after slap-down from OBR on 'Brexit risks report'

Emilio Casalicchio

2 min read

Top Tory minister Damian Green was humiliated today after being slapped down by a government quango for fudging the announcement of a key fiscal report.

The First Secretary of State suggested a ‘fiscal risks’ report would lay out the consequences of quitting the EU – including those of a no-deal Brexit scenario.

But the Office for Budget Responsibility – which is releasing the report – quickly clarified that analysing the potential outcomes of the Brexit negotiations would not form part of its findings.

Theresa May has repeatedly threatened to walk away from Brexit talks without a fresh trade arrangement in a bid to head off a “punishment” deal that could harm the UK.

At Prime Minister’s Questions today Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry, who was standing in for Jeremy Corbyn, took ministers to task on the issue.

She told them to “get a grip” on their Brexit approach and asked whether the Government would release its analysis of “the impact no deal would have on jobs and growth in Britain”,

Mr Green, who was covering for Mrs May during the state visit by the king and queen of Spain, said more details would be released tomorrow.

"The OBR is publishing its fiscal risks report tomorrow, so if she can be patient she will see the report she wants," he declared.

But the OBR quickly tweeted to kill the suggestion the report would look deep into the consequences of the Brexit talks.




An OBR source told PoliticsHome the report was a usual fiscal risks report that would take into account a wide range of factors.

But they insisted the independent economics body was “not in a position at this stage to assess the risks of the wide range of outcomes for Brexit negotiations”.

They said elements of Brexit would be noted but that it would not be analysed as a specific issue. 

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