Every region of the UK is set to become poorer whichever Brexit scenario occurs according to the Government’s own figures it has emerged.
As the Government finally caved into MP’s demands to see the official impact assessment report kept hidden from the public but leaked to Buzzfeed last week, it emerged that no region of Britain will be better off.
And many of the regions with the highest votes for Brexit will be among the worst affected economically, according to the Government commissioned studies that were meant to remain confidential.
After a great clamour from MPs demanding to know how their areas are set to be affected in different Brexit scenarios, the Government finally allowed them to view their secret figures in the House of Commons library.
The study involves economic forecasts of how regions will fare over the next 15 years.
Even if leaving the EU means the UK can stay in the Single Market, parts of Britain will be between 1% and 2.5% worse off.
But if a “No Deal” Brexit occurs, with Britain outside the EU’s Customs Union and trading with our biggest and closest trading partner on the usual World Trade Organisation terms, then regions can expect to be up to 16% worse off than they would otherwise have been for the next 15 years.
The North East of England would be set to suffer the most, 16% poorer, followed by the West Midlands 13% worse off, and Northern Ireland and the North West suffering a 12% hit in growth.
The government sought to diffuse the embarrassment of these shocking forecasts. A spokesperson said: “This document does not represent Government policy and does not consider the outcome we are seeking in the negotiations.
“As Ministers clearly set out in the House of Commons, this is provisional internal analysis, part of a broad ongoing programme of analysis, and further work is in progress.
“We are seeking an unprecedented, comprehensive and ambitious economic partnership – one that works for all parts of the UK.
“We are not expecting a no deal scenario.”
Labour’s shadow Brexit minister Paul Blomfield responded: “These figures are further evidence of why the Tories must rethink their reckless approach to the Brexit negotiations.
“The final Brexit deal with the EU must work for every region and nation of the UK, protecting people’s jobs and local economies.
“That is why Labour has been clear from the outset that the Government should seek a deal that retains the economic benefits of our current membership with the EU.
“Options for achieving that should not have been swept off the negotiating table, including being in a customs union with our largest trading partner.”
The leak of these dire figures is a major embarrassment for a weakened Theresa May facing crunch talks with the hard Brexiteers in her party who have already forced her to do a U-turn over the membership of the Customs Union she had promised to keep for the sake of the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland. – All while reports emerge of a coup against her being plotted to install Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Jacob Rees-Mogg.
This table shows the economic effect of different Brexit scenarios on UK regions of over a 15 years period:
|UK REGION||STAY IN SINGLE MARKET||FREE TRADE DEAL WITH EU||NO DEAL|
|Yorkshire and Humber||-1.5%||-5%||-7%|