The UK government has failed to give MPs the information they need to make an informed choice on its Brexit deal, the influential Commons Treasury select committee said on Tuesday.
The five Brexit scenarios modelled by government economists last month included an over-optimistic scheme that the EU had already rejected, the committee said in its report on the official assessments of Brexit’s economic impact.
The MPs added that the Treasury had failed to model the impact of the controversial backstop arrangement for Northern Ireland, even though it was clear that this might come into force before the UK and EU were able to agree a new trading relationship.
“The aim of this report is . . . to ensure that MPs are as informed as possible . . . The government has made this difficult to achieve,” said Nicky Morgan, chair of the committee, which includes both pro-Europeans and Brexit supporters.
The scathing tone of the report reflects the anger felt by MPs on both sides of the Brexit divide at the government’s handling of the process. It comes a day after Prime Minister Theresa May aborted a crucial House of Commons vote to avoid a heavy defeat that could have ended her premiership.
It is disappointing that the Treasury has not analysed the Irish backstop and fails to include short-term analysis of any of the scenarios, including impacts on public finances and on regional and specific sector job losses or gains. The government should have given an analysis of the backstop arrangement – under which the whole of the UK would remain in a customs union with the EU for an unspecified time after the end of the transition period.
Bentley Independent Financial Advisers