No sector-by-sector Brexit impact assessments exist, David Davis tells MPs

David Davis admits that not a single sector has been assessed for Brexit

Brexit Secretary David Davis with his head in his hands during talks to the Commons Exiting the EU Committee

The U.K. Cabinet chose to leave the European Union's customs union without first undertaking a quantitative assessment of the impact of such a decision, Brexit Secretary David Davis said.

"There's no sort of systematic impact assessment", Mr Davis told the Brexit committee.

Mr Davis replied: "The sectoral analysis that were started back in 2016 are essentially looking at what the industries consist of, looking at the size of them in terms of revenue, capital, and employment and so on".

David Davis has been accused of "misleading parliament" over the Brexit impact studies, after he repeatedly denied any had been carried out.

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Pressing the issue, Mr Benn responded: "So the answer to the question is "no"?"

The SNP MP Joanna Cherry, also on the committee, suggested that Davis had misled parliament over the existence of the impact assessments, describing the situation as "pretty serious".

"It will have an effect, the assessment of that effect is not as straightforward as people imagine".

Asked why he had failed to clarify the difference months ago, he said he had always used the phrase "sectoral analysis" - but accepted that he should have corrected MPs earlier.

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"You don't need to do a formal impact assessment to understand that if there is a regulatory hurdle between our products and a market it will have an impact", he said.

The documents passed to the committee contained information compiled "as best we could", and left out information that could undermine the UK's negotiating position or commercial confidentiality and sensitivity. "I am not a fan of economic models because they have all proven wrong".

Brexit Secretary David Davis told the House of Commons Exiting the EU Committee that the usefulness of an assessment of this kind would be "near zero" because of the scale of change which Brexit is likely to cause.

"Ministers must now urgently undertake these impact assessments and ensure people are given the facts". "As we are dealing with here [with a] free trade agreement or a WTO outcome, it's a paradigm change".

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Davis replied that there was no assessment on a "sector-by-sector basis".

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