London mayor accused of relaunching ‘Project Fear’ with taxpayer-funded Brexit report
A ‘hard Brexit’ could see 482,000 fewer jobs across the UK and nearly £50 billion (US$67 billion) of investment lost by 2030, according to the first set of taxpayer-funded assessments on the impact of Britain’s exit from the EU.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who commissioned the report, said if the government continued to “mishandle” negotiations, Britain could be heading for a “lost decade of lower growth and lower employment.” He added: “The analysis concludes that the harder the Brexit we end up with, the bigger the potential impact on jobs, growth and living standards.”
The assessment, which models five possible scenarios for leaving the EU ranging from a near-status quo situation to exiting on World Trade Organization (WTO) terms without any transition agreement, warns that the worst outcome could be a decade-long economic slump.
Khan's reports are understood to have cost £42,000 ($56,680).
Brexit will have an impact on the lives and personal finances of everyone in the UK. Londoners, and people across the UK, deserve to know what that impact will be. https://t.co/y2BXDroZYB#BrexitAnalysispic.twitter.com/Zv7OTSaYRc— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) January 11, 2018
The analysis, carried out by Cambridge Econometrics, predicts that a ‘no deal’ Brexit could shed as many as 87,000 jobs in London alone and 482,000 across Britain. The capital’s economic output would be 2 percent lower in 2030 than what would be expected under a ‘soft Brexit’.
The modelers did not study the effect of remaining in the EU.
The Labour mayor was a strong supporter of the Remain campaign and has since vigorously argued for the UK to stay in the EU’s single market and customs union, or for London to be granted its own deal, especially on maintaining rules on banking and financial services.
According to the BBC, Tories on the London Assembly, an elected body which scrutinizes the mayor, said: “Sadiq Khan, a well-known Remainer and advocate of Project Fear, has simply produced a continuation of his widely publicized anti-Brexit views.”
The impact assessments are likely to infuriate the government, which has insisted such information could undermine negotiations. It has both refused to release such information and also suggested that such analysis does not exist.
Khan said it was “astonishing” that Theresa May’s government had failed to do any analyses.
“I’ve released these impact assessments because the British people and our businesses have a right to know the likely impact of the various options the government are considering on their lives and personal finances.
“This new analysis shows why the government should now change its approach and negotiate a deal that enables us to remain in both the single market and the customs union.”