Government finally admits we will be poorer under all Brexit scenarios
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The government has finally admitted that under all Brexit scenarios we will be left worse off, with the chancellor admitting we would better off staying in the EU.
Phillip Hammond admitted on Radio 4's Today programme that analysis of May's Brexit plan shows the economy will be 'slightly smaller' under her preferred option.
The chancellor also said that under any scenario, in a 'purely economic sense' the UK will be worse off as exiting will created 'impediments to our trade'.
Asked if the UK would be better off staying in the EU, he agreed that remaining in the single market 'purely on the economics' would give the country an advantage.
But Hammond said that new analysis looking at the next 15 years found the impact on the economy will be 'very small', insisting it will still grow in that period.
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He said: 'I'm the chancellor so of course I look at the economy as being of overriding importance, but there are other considerations.
'And I recognise that many people feel very strongly about the need to leave the European Union to regain control of our fishing waters, to regain control of migration and control of our borders, to have the right to do third-country trade deals.
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'These are things which have value to people, and it is true that the economy will be very slightly smaller if we do the deal the way the prime minister has set out and negotiated, but the impact will be entirely manageable.'
Best for Britian champion Owen Smith MP said that the cut in the economy would be similar to the amount lost under the banking crash in 2008 which led to a decade of austerity.
He said: 'This has to be the first instance in the history of our country when the man in charge of our economy has recommended making it smaller so we have less to spend on the NHS, schools, the army or our transport infrastructure.
It is a truly extraordinary admission that every form of Brexit will make our country poorer and that May's deal, in particular, will cut tens of billions of pounds from our GDP.'
Theresa May has previously refused to answer whether we would be better or worse off because of Brexit. Instead she told the BBC that it would be 'different'.
A new independent analysis of the government's plan found that the country would be £100 billion worse off each year by 2030.