Leaked Document Signals Bad News For Northern Ireland

Feb 09, 2018, 01:56
Leaked Document Signals Bad News For Northern Ireland

Prepared prepared by the Department for Exiting the European Union, the research showed the North East would take an 11 per cent hit to economic growth, under the Government's preferred outcome of a free trade deal with the EU.

In north-east England economic growth would be 3 percent lower if Britain stayed in the single market, 11 percent with a trade deal and a 16 percent fall with no trade deal compared with staying in the EU. As ITV's Robert Peston points out, the figures suggest those areas that will lose most are those that voted leave ( apart from he of course failed to mention, Northern Ireland).

London weathers the storm best, with the local economy falling two per cent if we strike a free trade deal and 3.5 per cent with no deal.

Scottish National Party MP Peter Grant said: "The UK Government's leaked internal Brexit analysis makes for utterly grim reading".

It is the only region of England with a surplus in goods trade with the European Union, and also has the highest per capita European Union funding of any English region.

It comes as the Cabinet tries to establish a common position on the Northern Ireland border in the crucial subcommittee meeting in Parliament on Wednesday.

The analysis, which was produced by Treasury officials last month, predicts that Brexit with a free trade deal would reduce Northern Ireland's economic growth by 8 per cent.

In Commons on Wednesday, the SNP's Stephen Gethins appeared to confirm the 12% figure for Northern Ireland in a question to Northern Ireland Secretary, Karen Bradley. Does she believe any analysis she has seen? "And is this too high a price to pay to stop a Tory civil war breaking out?" he said.

In response, Mrs Bradley said Brexit Secretary David Davis had "dealt with the issues surrounding the leaked report".

Paul Brannen, Labour MEP for the North East of England, commented: "This is the type of news we always feared Brexit would bring".

"The Government can not continue to try and hide taxpayer-funded analysis from the public, just because they're afraid of the political consequences".

However London, which voted to stay within the European Union, is expected to be least affected by Brexit, with growth unlikely to slow by more than 3.5%.

A Government spokesman said of the regional impact studies: "This document does not represent Government policy and does not consider the outcome we are seeking in the negotiations".

"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".

The Liberal Democrats' Brexit spokesperson, Tom Brake, said: "This is a damning outlook for Britain".

"The Conservatives are putting the public in the firing line because they are hell bent on Brexit".

"I'm sure they [the United Kingdom government] won't want to renege on an agreement they only made a few months ago, and they would find it very hard to make any future agreement with Ireland, the European Union or anyone else in the world if they tried to depart from an agreement they made a few months ago".

The 8% figures for "no deal" was said to amount to Scotland's economy being £12.7bn a year worse off.

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