By Lucy Caulkett-
The UK government has disappointedly not carried out the impact of Britain leaving The EU impact assessments of leaving the EU, Brexit Secretary David Davis has told MPs in the House Of Commons.
“There’s no sort of systematic impact assessment,” Mr Davis told the Brexit committee.
Davis 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. His comments came during Prime Ministers Questions by Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn rightfully condemned the state of affairs as a ”shambles”
The revelation came after chairman Hilary Benn inquired whether impact assessments had been carried out 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. Following Mr Benn’s 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. Davis has a point that economic models are not always right, but the absence of an impact assessment shows a major lapse on the part of the UK government in preparing for Brexit. It may well be that the government has been too engaged in the tough negotiations surrounding Brexit that this crucial aspect has been omitted.
Assessing the impact or consequences of any particular choice of action is a crucial aspect of adequate preparation for it. Forecasting the impact of a major step taken by a government should really be a fundamental aspect of good preparation. Government officials may hold the view that the inevitability of Brexit makes it unnecessary to assess its impact, but a forecast at least helps the country to take the best steps in preparation for the probable outcomes.
Hilary Benn hit an important spot with his question, one that calls for an important review and assessment of how Brexit will impact the British people. The British people have voted to leave the European Union, but also deserve to know what that means in its totality so that they can adjust their mentality and long term plans in the necessary direction and to the level required. Davis’s admission to the committee that he had been handed two chapters of the 850 pages of analyses, but hadn’t read them is a lot more disturbing than the fact he and his fellow Mp’s in the government had not worked on an impact assessment.
Prime Minister Theresa May may also have some questions to answer in this regard. Why hasn’t she ordered for an impact assessment? In fairness to her, Davis had also admitted a year ago to have been given 57 sets analyses on different parts of the economy. The prime minister , who has had her hands full with Brexit negotiations may have assumed Davis had gone through the analyses, but assumptions can be be a problem, and the Brexit Secretary should have been checked on this. With this fact now in the open, we must expect David Davis to read all the relevant material and provide an impact assessment for the British public. Economic forecasts have many times been proven wrong, but this does not mean they are not useful. It depends why they were wrong, and if the basis of their calculation can be improved in future.