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    'People Would Not Mind Britain Being Worse Off if it Was More Free' - Expert

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    A leaked memo has stated that the UK will see its economic growth decline by at least two percent over the fifteen years following Brexit. The report emerged amid increasing pressure on UK Prime Minister Theresa May with senior party donors demanding her resignation.

    Sputnik discussed this with Mark Garnett, a politics professor at Lancaster University and author of the book "From Anger to Apathy: The British Experience."

    Mark Garnett: The suspicion seems to be that some member of the civil service who was charged with drawing up this forecast has thought that the results would be helpful to the argument for Britain perhaps rethinking leaving the European Union at all. I think that that is the only possible source that somebody has decided that this will be embarrassing to the Leave campaign, they couldn't resist the temptation to show it to somebody who was going to make it public.

    READ MORE: Abandon Project Fear! Brexit May Still Greatly Benefit Britain

    Sputnik: Do you think that this also is the reason that it was done while the Prime Minister is away?

    Mark Garnett: I think that actually is probably accidental. Sometimes when leaders go abroad that is a sign for people who want to perhaps embarrass the leader, it is a signal for people to take action. On this occasion I actually think it is less embarrassing for Theresa May to be out of the country and although she would not necessarily take any great part in that debate it would show her embarrassment, because I think it's very likely that this motion to be put forward by the Labour Party will be passed.

    Sputnik: So you think that this actually will be published?

    Mark Garnett: I think it will have to be. There was a similar vote in November last year and this was won and the Conservative MPs didn't really bother to oppose the motion. That was a slightly different thing, that was a document which showed the fact that ministers didn't really have much idea what the Brexit impact would be, which of course is true, they don't have very much idea but they haven't even started to guess what the impact of Brexit would be.

    Sputnik: That's so comforting isn't it?

    Mark Garnett: Exactly, well I would say that this time the Conservative MPs will be more keen to prevent this motion passing so they may well oppose it.

    There are members of the conservative party who are clearly going to vote with Labour over this, so it's going to be an interesting debate but I think that most likely it will pass and the trouble is with this that before the referendum the British civil service came up with a lot of forecasts of how bad it would be for Britain if we left the EU and I think people are now generally satisfied that these forecasts were too pessimistic or too alarmist, so in away, though this is another very difficult day for the government, although it looks as if almost certainly the results of Brexit would be negative economically, there's no certainty of that so it will be easy for the government to try and brush this aside and say all these are forecasts we can't really know what's going to happen.

    Sputnik: On the other hand this is the information that is being gathered by the government for the purpose of making decisions regarding Brexit going forward and if it's such bad information then why is this being provided to the government?

    Mark Garnett: You can understand why the government has asked experts to give some kind of guess about the various different ways because of course this debate has become so complicated now, because there are so many different ways in which the Brexit could evolve, could develop and so the government has wanted to be informed about what would happen in certain cases and so you can see why they've done this but at the same time I think the civil service have always thought that Britain was going to be worse off if we left the European Union. And in a way the debate over the referendum showed that people were more bothered about who makes decisions concerning Britain that in fact there a lot of people who won't mind if Britain was a bit worse off if it was still free to perhaps take its own decisions.

    READ MORE: Foreign Meddling Into Brexit Revealed

    People knew that it was a big risk if we voted to leave the European Union and this really is just another sign that the risk is more likely than not to result in bad news for the country, so in a way it doesn't change the debate very much but it does I think show that the government is on a course which is actually against the best advice that it can get from its own officials, you can see how ludicrous it is that the Prime Minister knows that there's every chance that what she's doing is going to be economically damaging to the country and yet she is bound and tied by the referendum results and can't do anything to avoid doing something that she knows is probably going to be economically damaging.

    Sputnik: Theresa May also said that it would be wrong to publish any of this official analysis because it could prejudice the negotiations. Do you think that the documents can have any impact on the negotiations?

    Mark Garnett: Well absolutely, I think again that in the European Union this document will change nothing because the EU knows already that the likely result will be damage to Britain, also of course it will be likely to damage the economic growth of the European Union so it's a situation the European Union are just looking at with a certain amount of dispair. In the end they think Britain will be damaged more than the European Union.

    Sputnik: What will the impact of this leak and the further publication, if that's the case, mean for Brexit and for the UK?

    Mark Garnett: Well things are very difficult for the Prime Minister, she's away that doesn't really make things more difficult, but there are rumors that there will be a move against her and this will not help. In part this is another thing which she's going to have to somehow manage and I don't think that this itself will push the Conservative Party into forcing her leadership election, however its just another sign that her position is very vulnerable and in British politics you can never expect anything, you can never predict anything, however this makes it more likely than not that we will have a new Prime Minister within a few months.

    The views and opinions expressed by Mark Garnett are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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