All Brexit forecasts were wrong: UK MP
Brexit minister David Davis rekindled a debate about the credibility of the government's own forecasts by insisting that every economic prediction on the British economy since the EU referendum has been wrong.
Davis made the comments in parliament after being asked about leaked analysis, drawn up by government officials, which suggests Britain would be worse off after Brexit under a wide range of potential scenarios.
He questioned the value of such research, saying the work is "incredibly difficult" and that every institution that had tried it had failed.What happens during a US govt shutdown
"Every forecasting model on the performance on the British economy post the referendum by every major organisation, the banks, the government organisations and, indeed, international organisations has proven wrong," Davis said.
"One of the ways it has been proven wrong is because employment in this country has grown despite the forecasts to record levels today. We will be seeking to do the best we can to ensure that growth record is maintained."
Bodies such as the International Monetary Fund and the Bank of England have raised their forecasts from gloomy predictions made around the time of 2016 referendum. However, Britain's economy has underperformed many of its peers and is likely to lag global growth this year.Merkel would prefer snap poll over minority government
In the same debate, junior Brexit minister Steve Baker suggested government officials may be undermining government policy by calibrating their work to show only the downside of Brexit.
When asked by another Member of Parliament whether he had heard claims that Treasury officials had "deliberately developed a model" to show that leaving the EU customs union was damaging to influence policy, Baker said he agreed.
"I'm sorry to say that my honourable friend's account is essentially correct," Baker said, adding that this was "quite extraordinary".China sends official to North Korea
British officials are legally obliged to remain impartial on policy.
The minister then quickly clarified that he had not suggested the accusation itself was correct.
"To be absolutely clear, I've said it was correct that the allegation was put to me," Baker said. "I did not in any way seek to confirm the truth of it."Trump avoids senator race amid sex claims
Some of the most vocal advocates of a total separation from the EU, known as a hard Brexit, have repeatedly suggested that the machinery of government was biased against Brexit and working behind the scenes to sabotage it.