Sky News has published selected, leaked figures from one part of a UK government analysis into post-Brexit trade, in another attempt to scare Britons away from leaving the European Union.
The leaks comes as the government analysis is distributed to Members of Parliament on the Exiting the EU Subcommittee, which hosts a number of pro-Remain MPs.
The Murdoch-owned news network — out of favour with its parent company — reported Wednesday evening: “Britain’s retail sector could be hit by a 20% rise in costs after Brexit”.
But a government spokesman pushed back on the claim, highlighting how Sky’s reporting was only part of the analysis the British government has undertaken, and does not reflect the UK’s negotiating position with Brussels.
“This document does not represent Government policy and does not consider the outcome we are seeking in the negotiations,” the spokesman said.
“As Ministers clearly set out in the House, this is provisional internal analysis, part of a broad ongoing programme of analysis, and further work is in progress.
“We are seeking an unprecedented, comprehensive and ambitious economic partnership – one that works for all parts of the UK. We are not expecting a no deal scenario.”
Sky News chose to publish this refutation at the very bottom of their news article on the subject, beneath an advertisement aimed at taking readers away from the article and pushing them to other news stories on the site.
Sky News quotes PART of a PART of a govt leaked analysis, places govt response refuting the claim BENEATH adverts for other stories on the site, right at the bottom of the article… pic.twitter.com/2FTjzr0ALC
— Raheem Kassam (@RaheemKassam) February 7, 2018
Sky News also fails to mention how non-tariff barriers would lead to rising costs, and does not mention how the much-discussed “no deal” scenario would be unlikely to lead to wide-ranging tariffs on British goods, as many have claimed in recent years.
Additional “paperwork”, extra customs checks, rules of origin regulations, and diverging regulatory standards could lead to rises in costs for the defence, education, food and drink sectors of up to 16 per cent, according to the document.
They also state this part of the government analysis asserts costs for the machinery equipment and energy sector could rise 6 per cent; 12 per cent in the chemical, rubber, and plastic sectors; 13 per cent in the motor vehicle sector; and between eight and 17 per cent in the agriculture sector.
The source of the leaked is not yet known, but the document — not reproduced in full by Sky News — was recently passed to the Exiting the European Union Select Committee whose members include a number of Remain-campaign MPs.
Sky News fails to mention that a majority of Leave voters have told pollsters they would be satisfied to take a short-term economic slowdown for re-establishing border controls and national sovereignty, and that GDP or “economic growth” is not the only measure of a nation’s well-being.
Raheem Kassam is the Editor in Chief of Breitbart London