Tom Scholar, the Permanent Secretary of HM Treasury, confirmed on Wednesday that forecasts of a big hit to the economy from Brexit, made shortly before the June 2016 EU membership referendum, are no longer applicable.
Speaking at the House of Commons Treasury Committee on Wednesday, the well-respected civil servant discussed the forecasts that said within 15 years Britain’s economy could be between 3.4 and 9.5 percent smaller if it left the EU than if it had stayed in.
Scholar said that the report, which was released just one month before the historic vote, was based on three potential scenarios for Britain’s future relationship outside the EU and this did not include the current Prime Minister’s desired scenario, for a tailor-made deal with the EU. He also reiterated that forecasts were based on an assumption that Britain would immediately start the process of leaving the European Union, and did not include any stimulus measures for the economy.
As a result, Scholar says:
“I don’t think the pre-referendum analysis is useful in the current debate about our attempts to secure a deep and special partnership because that’s a different thing to any of the three scenarios that were illustrated in that paper.”
In a win for Brexiteers, who consistently claimed the Treasury’s statistics were fabricated, pre-referendum projections can now no longer be used as a valid argument in the Brexit debate.