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    Brexit Committee challenges Prime Minister’s assertion that “no deal is better than a bad deal”

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    The Brexit Committee has warned that there could be serious economic risks if the UK and EU fail to reach a deal during the Brexit negotiations. The Committee has questioned the Prime Minister’s recent assertion that “no deal is better than a bad deal” and has requested an economic assessment to be published on the risks of simply walking away from the EU stating: “[T]he Government has talked about walking away from a bad deal, but has not yet explained what terms would be demonstrably worse for the UK than no deal: [we therefore request a] thorough assessment of the economic, legal and other implications, [as well as steps] being taken to mitigate what would be the damaging effect of such an outcome”. The Prime Minister responded by saying that she was preparing for “all scenarios” and that failing to reach a deal “would not be in the interest of either side”. Hilary Benn, Labour MP, who chairs the Committee, told BBC Radio 4: “[I]f the Government is going to make this assertion that no deal would be better than a bad deal, I think everyone would expect the Government to have done some assessment. They should make an assessment. Because in the absence of the Government explaining what mitigating measures it would take to deal with that outcome, to say that no deal is better than a bad deal is unsubstantiated”. The latest report published by the Committee has been heavily criticised by pro-Brexit ministers for focussing too much on the negatives, with several MPs walking out of the private committee meeting in protest. Mr Raab, Conservative MP, said: “[T]he report was rushed, skewed and partisan. After two reports that had strong support, it’s regrettable that this one split the committee. That undermines its credibility and influence, but I hope and expect the committee will learn the right lessons as we move forward.” However, Liberal Democrat committee member, Alistair Carmichael, said the report was “a devastating critique of the shambles that is the Conservative Brexit strategy”.

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