Michael Gove claims businesses do not fear no-deal Brexit as much as a Jeremy Corbyn government

PUBLISHED: 15:30 08 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:31 08 October 2019

Michael Gove in the House of Commons. Photograph: Parliament TV.

Michael Gove in the House of Commons. Photograph: Parliament TV.

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Michael Gove has claimed he is yet to meet a single business that fears a no-deal Brexit more than Jeremy Corbyn in Downing Street.

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The chancellor of duchy of Lancaster was answering a question from Clive Efford on a new Institute for Fiscal Studies which pointed out the government's "incompetence" on finances after "ten years of austerity".

The Labour MP asked: "Would anyone other government consider a no-deal Brexit with the finances in that state?"

But a bullish Gove simply replied: "Business take a variety of views on Brexit and indeed a no-deal Brexit.

"But I'm yet to meet a single businessman, woman or organisation that thinks a no-deal Brexit would be worse than Jeremy Corbyn government."

But there are signs that some businesses do consider Jeremy Corbyn less of a concern to their interests than a no-deal Brexit.

MORE: 'Government adrift without an effective fiscal anchor' as Brexit looms, says report

Analysts at key banks including Citibank recently told the Telegraph they are more concerned about the UK leaving the EU without agreement.

"Is Corbyn as bad as no-deal? Perhaps no longer," said Christian Schulz at Citi.

"A year ago, a Labour government would have been a big economic downside risk," he explained, pointing to the plans for higher taxes and nationalisation. "These risks to the longer-term outlook have not changed, but Labour has become more decisively pro-EU over the past 12 months."

"First, any market unfriendly policies instigated during a Labour government are temporary (until the government is voted out of office), and must be set against the permanent shock caused by a no-deal Brexit," he said.

"Second, we see the magnitude of economic damage caused by a no-deal Brexit as much higher than policies proposed in the last Labour manifesto."

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