Johnson’s Brexit impact report abandoned – “utterly staggering and a complete dereliction of duty”
The Boris Johnson government are now fighting fires in every direction it turns when it comes to transparency and truth. It is a government now characterised by its misinformation and propaganda campaigns and a leader immersed in accusations of outright lying.
Just this week, after saying there were going to be no shortages of druge (after the Yellowhammer leak) a leaked government document warns of the unprecedented medicines shortages in the NHS. This was hot on the heels of the Russia Report revelations where Boris Johnson is accused of covering up the amount of money his party is funded by and from whom.
Now, the Johnson government is accused of an “utterly staggering and a complete dereliction of duty” after admitting that it has no plans to carry out an assessment of the economic impact of the prime minister’s Brexit deal. It is simply putting its head in the sand and taking the view that Brexit, the biggest economic decision that Britain has mad in generations is somehow not in the public interest.
Last month Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay told a House of Lords committee he would “expect so” when asked whether an economic impact assessment of the withdrawal deal would to appear at “some point.”
However, in response to a Freedom of Information Request by Julie Ward, Labour Member of European Parliament, the Brexit Department [DExEU] said: “There is no ‘economic impact assessment’ based upon the Withdrawal Agreement, nor is there a date for an ‘economic impact assessment’ to take place.”
Under the terms of Johnson’s deal with the European Union, the United Kingdom will leave both the single market and customs union, and pursue a loose trading relationship with the bloc after it has completed its exit. And Brexit is currently due to take place on January 31, making the assumption that the election gives Johnson the majority the pollsters are predicting.
As we have reported on many occasions, almost all economists of note agree that a deal of this nature will cause significant damage to the UK economy.
Previous government analysis suggested that a deal similar to that negotiated by Johnson would reduce economic growth by 6.7%, cut wages, and leave average households thousands of pounds worse off. This is comparable to the recession experienced after 2008 that continues after a decade.
Ward, the MEP who sent the FOI request, called for an “immediate” economic impact assessment to be carried out.
She said on Tuesday:
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“The government doesn’t even know, or don’t even seem to care, what their new Brexit deal will mean for the economy, business and families across the country. This is utterly staggering and a complete dereliction of duty that the Government have no plans to do an economic impact assessment on their deal ensuring the public will not know what it means for them in the upcoming general election. This impact assessment must be done immediately: the public is being kept in the dark.“
Anti-Brexit campaigners have accused the Johnson government of deliberately concealing the truth from the British public.
“From the same people who prorogued parliament and broke the law, this admission is hardly surprising. They know this deal would cripple the British economy for decades, but they would rather take the British public for fools than tell them truth – Naomi Smith, CEO of Best For Britain, told Business Insider.
“The Conservatives used to be the party of business, yet now they appear completely fixated in pushing Brexit through, whatever the damage it causes. But it doesn’t have to be like that, tactical voting on 12 December could deny them a majority.”