The Guardian and Times report this morning that the Treasury is of the opinion that Hard Brexit might reduce UK GDP by between 5 and 9 percent and cost the Treasury up to £66 billion a year in lost revenues.
I have not seen the figures that support this. They were produced for George Osborne but the Treasury apparently stands by them. Instinctively I think they indicate a very likely direction of travel. I cannot think of any circumstance now where hard (or come to that, soft) Brexit will increase UK growth.
Apparently a falling pound is not stimulatory in Ritchie world.
Nor can I see Brexit changing wellbeing without the most radical change in policies, which I cannot as yet see the Oppisition promoting.
But this leaves a dilemma. If Brexit had been a product I was sold on the basis that it would increase the well-being of the country, domestic job prospects and cash for the NHS then I could now demand my money back. I would, very clearly, have been conned. And those who mad PE those claims to induce a sale would be guilty of fraud, not least because many of those who did so appear to have already been personally enriched as a consequence.
In that case why isn’t this being said? Why are MPs, let alone us the voters, being denied the opportunity to think again as facts become more apparent? Or to be blunt, why are a tiny majority, many of whom were conned (there is no more polite word) allowed to walk us off a cliff?
Are MPs so witless that they cannot assemble a decent rebellion on this, and demand the democratic right to a second, honest, election, with honest in this case being the operative word?
But the real problem with this whining is that these are not new figures. They’re exactly the same figures the Treasury released before the election. They’re from the same damn report even.