The British government has challenged the findings of a leaked report on the economic effects of Brexit. Revealed by Buzzfeed, the report predicts a decline in growth in the United Kingdom of between 2 to 5 percent depending on the Brexit scenario.
The least damaging outcome from an economic perspective would be if the UK were to remain in the single European market. According to the report, this would cut the UK’s GDP growth by 2 percent over the next 15 years.
In the case of a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU, British growth over this period would be 5 percent lower. And if London and Brussels do not reach an agreement, forcing them to fall back on World Trade Organisation rules, growth would be reduced by 8 percent over the same period, says the report.
Theresa May’s government has scrambled to downplay the report’s findings which comes just a day after Brussels revealed its opening negotiating position with regards to the post-Brexit transition period. This envisages a two-year period during which the UK will remain subject to EU law and the European Court of Justice, but lose it representation in EU institutions.
This is a “selective interpretation of a preliminary analysis, it is an attempt to undermine our exit from the European Union,” Brexit Secretary of State Steve Baker said during a question-and-answer session before Parliament.
“The Prime Minister said it was “an incomplete draft document” that had “not been signed off on” by ministers,” said a spokesman for Downing Street Tuesday.
“The Prime Minister has made it clear that we are not looking for a trade agreement like Canada or Norway, we are looking for a tailor-made agreement that gives us a deep and special partnership with the European Union,” the spokesman added.
The revelation of the internal report comes as the House of Lords, began a review of the draft law of withdrawal of the EU, a crucial text that will likely lead to heated debates.