Government might not spell out risks of no-deal Brexit before crunch Commons vote

Posted On: 
28th August 2018

Downing Street has refused to confirm whether MPs will be told the full consequences of a no-deal Brexit before they get the chance to vote for one in Parliament.

Anti-Brexit campaigners lashed out at the Government
Credit: 
PA Images

A spokesperson for Theresa May would only say an “appropriate analysis” will be produced before MPs get to have their say on her final Brexit deal.

Anti-Brexit campaigners said the Government was leading the country “down a dangerous economic path without letting anyone else see the map”.

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Theresa May has promised the Commons a "meaningful vote" on the agreement she strikes with Brussels this autumn - but the options will be to either accept the deal or crash out of the EU with nothing.

Chancellor Philip Hammond last week highlighted a January analysis by the Treasury to argue that a no-deal Brexit could have “huge fiscal consequences” for the UK economy.

But speaking to reporters on her way to South Africa, Mrs May this morning insisted the analysis was a “work in progress at that particular time” as she argued a no-deal departure would not be “the end of the world”.

However, asked repeatedly today whether the project would be finished by the time her final Brexit deal comes before the Commons in October or November, a Downing Street spokesperson refused to answer.

“Once a deal is agreed we have committed to provide Parliament with the appropriate analysis ahead of the meaningful vote,” he said.

The spokesperson added: “I’m not going to get into the content of what the analysis may contain.”

And he argued: “We don’t actually anticipate the situation where we have no deal; we are confident that we will negotiate a successful outcome as a result of the ongoing dialogue with the commission.”

Labour MP Wes Streeting, of the pro-EU People’s Vote campaign, said the Government approach to Brexit was “descending into farce”.

He added: “Not only is Theresa May leading us all towards an outcome she herself knows will make the country worse off, it seems she won’t even let our sovereign Parliament see the gory details for themselves before deciding whether or not to jump off the cliff edge. So much for ‘taking back control’.

“It cannot be right for the Government and their Brexit cheerleaders to lead us all down a dangerous economic path without letting anyone else see the map.

“MPs are elected to represent the best interests of their constituents – how can they hope to do that if the Government won’t even let them see what the economic consequences of Brexit will be before they vote on the terms?”

Labour peer Lord Adonis, speaking on behalf of the Best for Britain campaign, said people would believe ministers “have something to hide” unless they publish the analysis.