Theresa May, the Prime Minister of the UK, has suggested that a no-deal Brexit “wouldn’t be the end of the world.” Her comments come despite the warning that was made by the Treasury that such a scenario could result in a reduction of the GDP by 10 percent.
She further insisted that prediction of the department of chancellor Philip Hammond was “a work in progress.” She also reiterated her claim that no-deal will be a better outcome for the UK as compared to securing a bad deal.
When asked regarding the forecasts of the Treasury on her flight to South Africa yesterday, May disclosed: “First off, as I understand, the chancellor was talking about a set of figures that, when they came out in January…[I said] they were work in progress at that particular time.”
The Independent quoted her saying: “Look at what the director of the WTO [World Trade Organisation] has actually said. He said about a no-deal situation that it would not be a walk in the park, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world.”
Her widely-reported comments undermine the predictions of Hammond regarding the consequences of no-deal for the country that was set out in a letter to Nicky Morgan, the Treasury committee chair, last Wednesday.
In it, Hammond warned of “large fiscal consequences” for no-deal, which could see the GDP drop by 7.7 percent 15 years on, or as much as 10.3 percent. The Treasury predicted that the borrowing would rise by £80bn per year by 2033-34.
The comments of the British Chancellor were based on “provisional analysis” that dates back to January. As a response to a question about whether these numbers could be adjusted, May stated: “I said it was a work in progress in January.”
The letter of Hammond conceded that the forecasts would need some tweaking, however, it stated: “We expect the analysis to show that for scenarios in which we have higher barriers to trade with the EU there will be a more damaging effect on the economy and public finances.”
The Prime Minister is leading a delegation of business figures to Africa in order to improve the trade relations, amid Tory sniping over the Brexit plans of their leader.
Over the weekend, Boris Johnson, the former foreign secretary, said that the party should “chuck Chequers,” while People’s Vote campaigners are calling for a second referendum.
Andy Burnham, Labour’s Greater Manchester mayor, dealt with the campaign a blow over the weekend by stating that he wouldn’t support a vote on a Brexit deal’s terms.