Molly has written to David Davis, the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, calling on him to make public the results of any studies carried out by the government into the impacts of a hard Brexit scenario. The call comes as leaked documents reveal that under a hard Brexit scenario – of leaving the single market and customs union and ending freedom of movement – the NHS could be short of 40,000 nurses by 2016.

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Letter in full:

Dear the Rt Hon David Davis MP,

Constituents, civil society and businesses have contacted me in recent months, concerned about the potential impact that the different models of Brexit may have on them and their operations.

To give just one example, we know that currently around 65% of total UK agricultural exports go to the EU, while around 70% of the UK’s imports originate from other EU countries. We also know that removing us from the single market risks the possibility of punitive tariffs on exports and imports, while an end to free movement would make it impossible to take on the seasonal migrant labour from EU countries which is crucial to many farms.

The farmers and communities that I represent in the South West of England are rightly deeply concerned by the uncertainty that still surrounds such issues. For long term planning they need reassurance and clear guidance from government.

It was therefore with alarm that I read this week about the alleged ‘secret studies’ HMG has undertaken into the potential impact of a hard Brexit. Findings such as those from the Department of Health, which suggest that the NHS could be hit by a shortage of more than 40,000 nurses by 2026 due to a hard Brexit, are deeply worrying.  

Both I and many constituents, NGOs and businesses that I represent will want to know whether there are other studies HMG has undertaken. For example, has HMG examined the impact of ending our membership of the single market on the UK farming sector? Additionally has HMG explored issues surrounding:

  • The economic impact of leaving the single market;
  • The economic impact of ending freedom of movement;
  • The impact of reducing environmental regulations?

If you have undertaken such studies, I ask you as a matter of urgency to share the initial results so that I can better support my constituents, their families and their businesses through this turbulent time.

Now more than ever, we need confidence in our long term planning. This can only be achieved through open, transparent decision-making and I look forward to contributing to this the best I can.

I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,

Molly Scott Cato MEP

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