Davis says UK Government has not assessed impact of Brexit on economy

Davis says UK Government has not assessed impact of Brexit on economy

Labour MP Hilary Benn, who chairs the committee in question, responded to this by asking the Brexit secretary: "So the government hasn't undertaken any impact assessments on the implications of leaving the European Union for different sectors of the British economy?"

David Davis has been accused of either misleading Parliament or extreme incompetence.

Davis continued: "Therefore the usefulness of such a detailed impact assessment is near zero".

A caller defending David Davis has hit back at Remain MPs, telling LBC they "deserve to be lied to" because they're "just playing games to stop Brexit".

MP for Tottenham David Lammy said: 'It is time to put David Davis in the Tower of London for contempt of Parliament.

Asked later by Benn whether there had been any economic assessment of the impact of leaving the customs union, he replied: "Not a formal, quantitative one".

During Davis's testimony before the Brexit committee, he revealed to MPs who have been seeking any impact assessments conducted by the UK Government on the potential economic consequences of Brexit that no such analysis existed, saying: "There's no sort of systematic impact assessment".

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Instead, he said, officials will "at some stage" during the forthcoming second phase of Brexit negotiations, dealing with trade, conduct work to quantify the effects of different possible outcomes, such as a free trade agreement with the European Union or moving to World Trade Organisation rules.

But Davis was grilled over his repeated claims that studies did exist, with MPs including the committee chair Hilary Benn and his Labour colleague Seema Malhotra noting he appeared to be changing his position over the course of many months.

"We took a judgement", Davis said.

"Do not draw the conclusion that because you've used the word impact, you have an impact assessment", he told the committee made up of MPs from across the Commons. The Queen famously asked why did we not know.

He told the committee he had tried to provide "the closest we could" to what the House of Commons had demanded, subject to his responsibility not to release information which was commercially secret, market sensitive or liable to undermine the UK's negotiating position.

'Ministers must now urgently undertake these impact assessments and ensure people are given the facts. After the hearing, the Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas and the former Lib Dem leader, Tim Farron, said he should resign as a minister. It was either incredibly incompetent or incredibly dishonest.

Joanna Cherry, the SNP justice and home affairs spokeswoman, said the evidence of Mr Davis to the committee would appear to "directly contradict" what he and other ministers had previously said: "This is pretty serious", she said.

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