- Leaked Treasury report forecasts lost GDP growth of between 2% and 8% under various Brexit scenarios.
- Kay Swinburne MEP told BI the forecasts are not that different to other City and think tank forecasts, showing a "consensus" is emerging.
- Swinburne, vice chair of the influential EU economic committee, voted to remain but says she would now vote to leave.
LONDON — An influential Tory MEP who helped to draft the biggest change to European finance laws in the last decade says the government's leaked Brexit impact report shows a "consensus" is emerging around the effects of leaving the EU.
BuzzFeed News obtained a UK government analysis examining the economic impact of the different forms of Brexit. The Treasury report concluded that all types of Brexit — from membership of the European Economic Area to crashing out without a deal — would be worse for the economy than staying in the bloc.
Kay Swinburne MEP, the most senior British legislator on the EU's influential Economic and Monetary Committee, told sunbet: "I don't think there's anything that's come out that isn't already in the public domain in one form or another.
"If you look at the broader numbers that have come out of the IMF, the OECD or the financial analysts in the City, there's not that much diversion around them. It does suggest that there's a consensus emerging around what these numbers are actually crystallizing at."Swinburne voted to remain in the EU but has since said she would now vote to leave because she is concerned about the union becoming "a more centralised system."
Forecasts from groups such as the IMF and OECD in the run-up to the 2016 referendum were dismissed by pro-Brexiteers as "Project Fear" — intentionally over the top forecasts designed the scare the public into voting to remain in the EU.
Swinburne told BI: "I think there's a greater understanding now than there was two years ago, in terms of what trading relationships with the EU as a bloc actually entail.
"There are several models you can participate in. You can be part of the EU as a full member, and therefore full access to the single market, which is unique because you have access to goods and services.
"Or you can be an affiliated member in the EEA where you sign up to part of this, pay into the budget, and sign up to all four freedoms, and therefore have access to goods and services.
"You can be part of the customs union, like Turkey is, but that means you can't sign your own free trade deals, because you're part of a customers union.
"Or, the final and only option you're left with, is you can negotiate a free trade deal. We're in that corner right now and I think people are finally realising that with the red lines that we have, there's only one box left to go into and that is the free trade deal."
The Treasury's forecasts predict lost GDP growth of between 2% and 8% depending on which form of Brexit the UK secures.
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Swinburne, who worked in the City of London before becoming an MEP in 2009, said all the projections were probably the "worst case scenarios" as they don't take into account anything businesses may do to mitigate the impact of Brexit.
"You can say: assuming these criteria, assuming this, this is the range you get," she told BI. "Somewhere within there, you're going to end up. I would take worst case and best case and guess we'll end up somewhere in the middle."
"Nobody wants to see economies fail right now and anything that damages the UK economy damages the EU27 as well. Therefore it's in everyone's interest to mitigate as much of the risk as possible."
Swinburne has been called "the architect of Mifid II" for her role in shaping the far-reaching European financial legislation that took six years to complete and came into force in January.