The prime minister has rubbished her own chancellor’s no-deal Brexit economic forecast as a ‘work in progress’.
During a visit to South Africa, Theresa May repeated claims that no agreement with the EU ‘would not be a walk in the park’ but rather hopefully added it ‘wouldn’t be the end of the world’.
She added the government is putting in place measures to ensure it can ‘make a success of no deal’ and remains confident it can do similar with a ‘good deal’ – which she maintained it was possible to agree.
May added that Philip Hammond was highlighting ‘work in progress’ figures released in January when he published a letter just hours after the government started revealing its no-deal Brexit preparations.
The chancellor was accused by Brexiteers Tory backbenchers of launching another ‘project fear’ by claiming GDP could fall and borrowing could be around £80 billion a year higher by 2033/34 if Britain resorted to WTO terms.
Hammond said such an impact on GDP would have ‘large fiscal consequences’.
He also said this analysis was undergoing a ‘process of refinement’ ahead of a parliamentary vote on any deal.
May, asked about the timing and content of Hammond’s intervention, said she had previously labelled the data as a work in progress.
The PM, who is in South Africa on a trade visit, later performed a toe-curling dance with children on a visit to a secondary school.