Hypocritical is the Kindest Word

The UK Government faces more Brexit embarrassment after a leaked report showed that Scottish economic growth could be slowed by as much as 9% should no trade deal be in place when we leave the EU.

The report, titled “EU Exit Analysis – Cross Whitehall Briefing” was prepared in January and leaked to Buzzfeed last week, sets out the forecast for the impact to economic growth over the next 15 years for each area of the UK given three different Brexit scenarios.

The leak comes after publication of the SNP’s own impact study which was much derided by the Conservatives as “completely over-the-top scaremongering”. Scottish Tory constitutional spokesman, Adam Tomkins, saying the SNP had proved with their 2014 white paper on independence that “their financial forecasts simply cannot be trusted”. 

As it has turned out the UK Government’s own report actually paints a bleaker worst case outcome than that of the SNP’s as the table below shows:

Comparison of Growth Forecasts

ScenarioUK Government ForecastScottish Government Forecast
Single Market Membership-2.5%-2.7%
Free Trade Deal-6%-6.1%
No Deal-9%-8%

The report goes on to show that the impact on Scotland will be worse than that of the UK as a whole which is predicted to see the following drop in growth:

Single Market Membership – down 2%

Free Trade Deal – down 5%

No Deal – down 8%

The UK Government has refused calls to publish the report but has allowed MPs to view it on condition of confidentiality and has also said it will provide the devolved administrations access to the report.

Michael Russel, Scotland’s Brexit secretary, has said he will publish the full report should he gain access to it and added that the public “has a right to know the impact on jobs and living standards of the UK government’s decision to pursue the UK’s exit from the EU”.

The SNP’s Europe Spokesman, Peter Grant, said “The leaked UK government’s internal Brexit analysis makes for utterly grim reading, and Theresa May must now end the shameful secrecy surrounding the UK government’s Brexit plans and publish the papers in full – which we now know will have catastrophic consequences for Scotland and the UK’s economy.”

 

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