The Institute for Government’s report Preparing Brexit: No Deal, published today, states No Deal will consume Government and public life for years and decades to come.
Key findings include:
- An emergency budget may be needed even before No Deal takes place.
- “No deal is a step into the unknown” and there can be “little certainty” about its immediate impact.
- “There is no such thing as “a managed no deal’” – and side deals needed to protect key services and the economy are “unlikely”. Any measures that the EU do take to minimise the impact of No Deal will be solely focused on protecting its members’ interests.
- After No Deal takes place a quick deal to shore up the situation “will not be possible” – No Deal really is a crash out into the unknown.
- No Deal will destroy existing deals we benefit from as members of the EU with non-EU states.
- No Deal will dominate everything that happens in Government.
- The economic impact of No Deal will be so severe that “The government will have to support struggling and failing businesses”.
- No Deal threatens to rip the United Kingdom apart: “Johnson may well find that having left one political union, he spends an increasing proportion of his time trying to keep another together.”
- “No deal is not the finish line” – the report states: “delivering a no-deal Brexit would leave the prime minister with little space for an ambitious domestic agenda. Whitehall would be working flat out on Brexit for months, with many areas of work extending for years.”
Commenting, Bridget Phillipson MP, leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, said:
“The Institute of Government, a body whose independence and credibility are not in dispute, are perfectly clear: the choice for Boris Johnson is between any sort of domestic agenda and No Deal. He cannot have both.
“If he opts for No Deal then all the energy, talent and resources of the nation will be sucked into managing the ongoing crisis this will cause for years and decades to come.
“The report states that by this autumn 16,000 civil servants will be working on No Deal and that the number could rise. But that excludes all those working in local government, in public health, in the NHS, in schools and in law enforcement who will have to manage the consequences of the policy disaster made in Downing Street.
“In effect No Deal will become a policy black hole, sucking in cash, staff and ultimately hope for the future into the 2020s and beyond. It will be like a weight tied around British business and entrepreneurship long into the future, relentlessly dragging us down and down and down.
“Boris Johnson’s efforts are being put into pretending that somehow we can breeze through No Deal and into sunny uplands of ever-growing public spending and sunny optimism. It is the worst sort of sophistry, because it seeks to confuse his personal interest – of staying in office – with the national interest.
“It is clear that No Deal will blight the future of the country for decades to come. The Prime Minister cannot be allowed to escape accountability to the people and must put the choice between any Brexit outcome and staying in the EU with our current rights and privileges to the people for the final say. The only legitimate and democratic way of settling this matter is a People’s Vote.”
The IFG’s report can be read here: https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/publications/preparing-brexit-no-deal