Evil, they say, comes in threes. The Government’s black sheep is also tripartite: Liam Fox, Boris Johnson and David Davis are the so called “three Brexiteers” who are ridiculed by Left and Right, somewhat elevating Theresa May’s inflexible plan for a Hard Brexit. But, even the three Brexiteers can’t, for much longer, entertain the public or distract us from the Government’s one-sidedness. 

Leaked Treasury Report

As it happens, the Treasury will have to pay up to £66bn per year in lost taxes, if the UK leaves the single market. This was reported on Tuesday (11 Oct.), after leaked government papers showed that leaving the EU and the single market in order to become part of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) would mean a smaller economy and a loss of between £38bn and £66bn per year.

The papers, based on forecasts from a study published by George Osborne in April, said that: 

“The Treasury estimates that UK GDP would be between 5.4% and 9.5% of GDP lower after 15 years if we left the EU with no successor arrangement, with a central estimate of 7.5%. The net impact on public sector receipts – assuming no contributions to the EU and current receipts from the EU are replicated in full – would be a loss of between £38bn and £66bn per year after 15 years, driven by the smaller size of the economy.”

The Brexit supporters dismissed the papers for being unrealistic and spreading imaginary fears about leaving the single market, but Remain campaigners have said the papers justify fears about how bad leaving the EU might be.

The three Brexiteers can’t be summoned to dance around the fire or tell us how wonderful Royal Yacht Britannia’s journey will be when it discovers new markets, although Lord Heseltine did refer to them rather mockingly. He said: 

“We have three ministers now in charge, a brilliant set of appointments in my view because they can come up with the answers which have escaped me ... The ability to trade seems to me an important part of our future ... We have to find places to trade. And if there are all these markets that have escaped the attention of British exporters, it will be marvellous to have it pointed out to them by the new minister responsible.”

La, La, La, I’m not listening

The Tory Brexit backers and the government appear to be ignoring the signs that the UK economy might not be able to survive the costs of Brexit. Theresa May’s deputy spokesperson attempted to divert attention away from the papers stressing the government’s focus on triggering Article 50 and preparing for the negotiations. He said that the paper was based on old figures. Asked about the pound’s fall, he simply stated that the currency fluctuates.

Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, the SNP’s international trade spokeswoman, said:

“This leaked report not only shows the deep divisions at the centre of Theresa May’s Government, but also clearly demonstrates that Cabinet ministers like Liam Fox, who advocate a hard Brexit, value ideological purity over economic competence or the greater public good.

It’s little wonder that, by abandoning all economic reason, the Tories are running scared from any proper parliamentary scrutiny of their damaging plans.”

In his recent visit to New York, talking to Bloomberg, the Chancellor Philip Hammond said that the recent positive data on the economy, despite Theresa May’s desire not to see it this way, were “backward data” and are not indicative for what is going to happen in post-Brexit economy. So, despite his reluctance to be a doomsayer, Hammond is at least recognising, to a certain degree, that things are going to change, for the worse.

Raoul Ruparel, before being appointed by Davis as the new government adviser on Brexit, had said that the economy will be constantly hit by a bill of more than £25bn a year if it withdraws from the EU customs union. 

The European Union Customs Union (EUCU): is part of the single market and sets out common rules for the 28 countries to follow when trading internationally. It represents all these countries as one customs administration in order to protect the EU from illegal trade, guarantee the safety of the Community and its residents and secure the Member States and the EU’s financial interests.

It consists of the EU member states, Monaco and some non-EU territories that are part of the UK such as Akrotiri and Dhekeleia in Cyprus and Guernsey, Isle of Man and Jersey. Turkey, Andorra and San Marino, with the exception of some goods, are in customs unions with the EU. Being in the EU’s customs territory, these countries have to follow certain rules that enable them to trade between them without paying any customs duties. When trading outside the EU they have to adhere to a common external tariff and customs duties and rules about the origin for products imported from outside the EU. 

Ahoy, Brexit ahead

At the moment, May has accepted the demands from Labour and some Tories to let MPs have more say in parliamentary discussions before March’s triggering of Article 50. On Wednesday (12 Oct.), the government will also announce the 21 MPs who will be sitting in the new Brexit committee. It is said that the large number of MPs is a strategic choice by the government because it will make the committee less effective when closely examining the government’s plans and less able to form decisions.

But, maybe we should all calm down and take advise from those who brought us Brexit. Boris Johnson’s economic adviser, Gerard Lyons, suggested that the UK is not facing a “currency crisis” but the fall of the Sterling was "inevitable, whatever the outcome of the referendum" because it had been one of the world's most overvalued currencies." “Hear, hear” (your right honourable author exclaims, albeit with a pinch of irony).

Needless to say, the three Brexiteers will save the UK. As the pound falls and fuel prices could rise by 5p a litre by the end of this month, maybe Fox, Johnson and Davis would sail to new lands and bring us oil.