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British PM dismisses leaked document showing economy would be worse after Brexit

By Reuters | Published Wed, January 31st 2018 at 09:54, Updated January 31st 2018 at 09:57 GMT +3
British Prime Minister Theresa May

British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday that lawmakers would be given official analysis on any Brexit deal before they are asked to approve it, dismissing a leaked document showing the economy would be worse off under all exit scenarios.

Buzzfeed News on Monday reported that Britain's economy would be worse off whether it leaves the European Union with a free trade deal, single market access, or with no deal at all, citing a government analysis.

But May said the report was a "selective interpretation of a very preliminary analysis, which ministers have not signed off".

She said lawmakers would be given analysis on the actual deal that Britain reaches with the European Union ahead of a vote which will allow lawmakers to accept or reject the negotiated settlement.

"When the time comes for parliament to vote on the final deal, we will ensure that parliament has the appropriate analysis on which to be fully informed, on which to base their judgement," May told reporters travelling to China for a trade visit.

The parliamentary vote is a potential flashpoint in the Brexit process. No date is yet scheduled, but it will take place after the final divorce terms have been agreed.

May said it would be wrong to publish any official analysis until the terms of the deal are known, in part because doing so could prejudice the negotiations.

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