British Ministers have rejected calls made to publish a leaked document regarding Brexit’s economic impact. The government has stated that it will not be sharing that document as it was not complete.
Labour has called for the document’s publication and debated for that in Parliament. Brexit Minister Steve Baker explained that the leaked document had been only in a “preliminary” stage. He added that publishing the full length document would cause harm to the United Kingdom’s negotiations with the European Union.
A report from BuzzFeed suggested that the leaked document was predicting a reduced U.K. economy in three different potential incomes in comparisons to the economic state expected to exist without Brexit. BuzzFeed also reported that the document, called “EU Exit Analysis – Cross Whitehall Briefing” and created for the Department for Exiting the EU, indicated that every component of the British economy would suffer as a result of Brexit.
The document considered various different possible Brexit scenarios. These included leaving the E.U. without any deal at all, remaining within the E.U.’s single market, and an outcome somewhere in the middle of those two extremes.
Downplaying the Forecast
According to Mr. Baker, when questioned in the Commons, the document had not reached the point that it was “anywhere near being approved by ministers.” Furthermore, he underscored that the ministers within his own team had only just received their own copies of it.
He called the document a “preliminary attempt to improve on the flawed analysis around the EU referendum,” and said that it was not meant as an assessment of the best option the government could take if a free trade deal should be negotiated.
He added that the document “does not yet take account of the opportunities of leaving the EU,” and pointed out that civil forecasts are “always wrong, and wrong for good reasons.”
Brexit itself is already highly controversial, particularly as very little hard data has been provided by the government in terms of economic forecasts. The recent document leak has only fueled fires against both the British exit from the E.U. and against Prime Minister May and her government.
“For months, Theresa May’s government have refused to produce any detailed analysis of the potential impact of various Brexit scenarios – now we know why they have so desperately engaged in a cover-up,” said Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.