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Sunday, February 16, 2020

More suppressed reports?

I have already blogged on the strange case of the report into Russian interference in the UK political system, which was suppressed before the General Election, presumably in case it damaged Tory election hopes and still has not been published.

Now the Independent reports on further reports being suppressed by the UK Government. This particular reports are also potentially damaging as they are studies believed to show little gain from trade deals with US and Asia.

The paper says that these analyses were completed as long ago as 2017 and looked into the probable impact on growth from agreements long hailed as the prize for leaving the EU. However, ministers are refusing to release them:

One trade expert said he had little doubt they were being concealed because they would – like independent studies – reveal that significant damage from new trade barriers with the continent will far outweigh the gain from other deals.

Alan Winters, professor of economics at the University of Sussex, joined with Labour in calling on ministers to reveal what they had been told, saying: “The entire Brexit debate has been conducted in a great fog of obfuscation.”

Paul Blomfield, Labour’s Brexit spokesperson, said: “These reports must be released immediately. If Boris Johnson wants to risk European trade to secure a deal with Donald Trump, we need to know the cost.”

The controversy comes after the Treasury refused to even carry out an evaluation of the prime minister’s plans for a “Canada-style” deal with the EU, cutting ties with the single market and customs union.

Economists have estimated that will deliver a hit to the UK economy of anything between £70bn and £130bn in the long run, leaving people thousands of pounds worse off.

Now, in response to a freedom of information request submitted by The Independent, the Department for International Trade (DIT) has said internal analysis into other trade deals is “a work in progress”.

But it also revealed academics at the Centre for Economic Policy Research had evaluated the benefits from a US deal, an agreement with Japan and from membership of the CPTPP, a trade partnership of 11 Pacific nations.

The last two were completed in August 2019 – while the study into an agreement with Washington has been gathering dust since July 2017.

The fact that these studies are not being published speaks volumes about a dysfunctional government trade policy and the lies we have been spun about Brexit:

Professor Winters, of the UK Trade Policy Observatory at the University of Sussex, said: “If the government thought it had a very strong case that these deals would be big and strong then they would publish these studies.

“It’s an indication that there’s nothing there. To the extent that we have any analysis, it suggests that the benefits of these deals are very small.

“And, with any modelling, what we gain from an agreement with the US and Japan is a lot smaller than what we lose from the EU.”

Isn't it time we were given all the information available to Ministers so we can make up our own minds about the efficacy of their policies?
Russian papers!?
The Trade Deals!
Evidence seems to show that they will not be as good as EU ones
Gove! What is his dept doing? What info has he published regarding how Trade deals are going?He has said that 'paperwork' for businesses will increase and therefore prices will increase in 2021.
A 'Work in progress' Code for we are a long way from getting good/enough trade deals to counteract what we loose from the EU.
Example.We have 4% of our trade with US. A good deal could double that to 8%. Still a long way from what we need. Equally I have heard that the US will negotiate with the EU 1st. Remember it is 'America 1st' BREXIT will hit the country badly

The changes that Johnson is undergoing, Braaverman for example in Justice, an ardent Brexiteer and 'Justice hater'.Holding back, amongst others ,The Russian Papers and Free Ports (money laundrying) could read Constitutional change to make the country into a Tax Haven for Oligarchs.You have to radically change the system you have before you install another. Brexit going bad whilst building foundations for that new system is the start of that new ,bad,era.
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