Brexit: David Davis admits government has not done sectoral impact assessments



Brexit Secretary David Davis has admitted that the UK government has done no impact assessments for the implications of Brexit on sectors of the British economy.

Despite having previously indicated that work had been undertaken, Davis told MPs today that the usefulness of such assessments would be “near zero” because of the scale of change Brexit is likely to cause.

Davis told the committee: ‘You don’t need to do a formal impact assessment to understand that if there is a regulatory hurdle between your producers and a market, there will be an impact. It will have an effect, the assessment of that effect is not as straightforward as people imagine.’

‘I’m not a fan of economic models because they have all proven wrong. When you have a paradigm change – as happened in 2008 with the financial crisis – all the models were wrong. The Queen famously asked why did we not know.’

‘Similarly, what we are dealing with here in every outcome – whether it is a free trade agreement, whether it is a WTO (World Trade Organisation) outcome or whether it is something between that on the spectrum – it is a paradigm change.

‘We know not the size, but the order of magnitude of the impact.’

The secretary also said no formal impact assessment had been undertaken into the effect of leaving the EU customs union before the Cabinet took a decision to withdraw.