Brexit minister's claim Brexit forecasts always wrong insulting - union boss
Brexit minister Steve Baker has been accused of insulting civil servants after claiming their forecasts are always wrong.
The FDA, which represents senior public servants, said it was extraordinary that a minister should tell the Commons he would not believe analysis carried out in Whitehall.
Quizzed by MPs about leaked assessments on the impact of Brexit reported by Buzzfeed News, Mr Baker said it was "not a forecast for our preferred outcome of the negotiations".
Mr Baker told the Commons that civil service forecasts were "always wrong".
FDA general secretary Dave Penman accused Mr Baker of having a "fingers-in-ears" approach to Brexit.
You may also want to watch:
He said: "Steve Baker's comments in Parliament are supposed to represent the considered view of the Government.
"His remarks today not only insult the dedicated professionals working in his department and across the civil service, but they epitomise the current state of affairs in government.
- 1 Brexiteer Prue Leith quits Tory Party after government votes down motion to protect UK food standards
- 2 Public slams Brexit Party tweet which shames Tory MPs who voted against free school meals
- 3 Piers Morgan must expose the government's Brexit betrayal
- 4 Group in protest against Tory MPs who voted down free school meals targets offices with empty plates
- 5 Tory minister blames journalists for NHS Test and Trace failure as he defends Dido Harding
- 6 Peers set to remove law-breaking sections of Boris Johnson's Brexit bill
- 7 Michel Barnier postpones Brussels return as Brexit trade talks in London continue
- 8 Brexit shambles: A stress of our own making
- 9 Priti Patel set to hand private firms £28 million in government contracts to deport asylum seekers from UK
- 10 Boris Johnson and Priti Patel urged to end 'attacks' on lawyers in letter by 800 legal professionals
"We have just witnessed the extraordinary scene of a serving minister telling the House that, whatever analysis his own department comes up with, he simply won't believe it.
"The public will rightly ask how this fingers-in-ears approach is supposed to help the country navigate such a complex and unprecedented challenge as leaving the EU.
"How can civil servants in Mr Baker's department, who are working harder than ever before, now have confidence in a minister who stands at the despatch box and openly questions their professionalism?
"The real question, however, is how can a minister prepared to undermine the government he serves retain the confidence of the Prime Minister?"
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.