Britain will lose up to 66 billion a year if it pursues the so-called “hard

15:22, today

Britain will lose up to £66 billion a year if it pursues the so-called “hard Brexit” option of leaving the single market and EU customs union, the Treasury has warned, according to Independent.

Government figures suggest the UK’s gross domestic product (GDP) could fall by as much as 9.5 per cent if it leaves the EU and reverts to World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

The impact of such a slump would be devastating on the public sector, according to Treasury documents leaked to The Times.

The draft Cabinet committee paper is based on a controversial study published by George Osborne in April during the referendum campaign.  But despite the vilification it received then, the Treasury says it still stands by the figures now.

According to the leaked government document, the Treasury estimates that UK GDP would be between 5.4 per cent and 9.5 per cent of GDP lower after 15 years if the United Kingdom left the EU with no successor arrangement, with a central estimate of 7.5 per cent.

Brexit backers who have seen the documents told the newspaper the figures were unrealistic and claimed there was a push to “make leaving the single market look bad.”

But prominent Remain campaigners pushing for a “soft” Brexit that would keep Britain in the single market said the documents showed the “horrific damage” of leaving the trading bloc.

The Guardian reports that the Prime Minister, Theresa May, is facing growing pressure to allow MPs a vote on Brexit and the government is also fighting a legal challenge over the use of royal prerogative to invoke Article 50, which triggers the process of leaving the EU.

The United Kingdom intends to withdraw from the European Union (EU), a process commonly known as Brexit, as a result of a June 2016 referendum in which 51.9% voted to leave the EU.  The separation process is complex, causing political and economic changes for the United Kingdom (UK) and other countries.  On October 2, 2016, British Prime Minister Theresa May announced she would trigger Article 50 by the end of March 2017 which would make the UK set to leave the EU by the end of March 2019.  The terms for withdrawal have not been established; however May has promised a bill to remove the European Communities Act 1972 from the statute book and to transfer existing EU laws into the UK domestic law.  In the meantime, the UK remains a full member of the European Union.  The term “Brexit” is a portmanteau of the words “British” and “exit.” 

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