Academics, Businessmen, and Lawyers Sign Open Letter Against ‘Remainer Phil’ Hammond with 63 Pro-Brexit Tory MPs


Dozens of Brexiteer Tory MPs have been joined by members of the House of Lords, prominent academics, businessmen, and legal professionals in a public broadside against Chancellor Philip ‘Remainer Phil’ Hammond’s anti-Brexit economic forecasts.

The open letter published by The Telegraph is seen as something of a show of strength by the Brexiteer wing of the Tory Party, which is currently attempting to thwart Remain-voting Prime Minister Theresa May’s Chequers plan to keep the United Kingdom subject to large swathes of the EU’s rules and regulations, and possibly leave the entire country in the bloc’s Customs Union as a so-called ‘backstop’ solution to keeping the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland free of customs infrastructure.

Specifically, the letter signed by 63 Tory MPs takes aim at Treasury chief Philip ‘Remainer Phil’ Hammond’s leaked economic forecasts claiming a ‘No Deal’ Brexit would deliver a 7.7 percent hit to GDP over a period of years, hinting that they are — like the Treasury’s pre-referendum anti-Brexit forecasts turned out to be — based on flawed or manipulated modelling.

“It is unacceptable that the Government leaks the results of its modelling when it suits but simultaneously hides what lies behind these forecasts from the public,” the letter begins, alluding to the fact that the Treasury has not made it clear how it has arrived at its highly negative predictions.

“The Cross-Whitehall Brexit Analysis leaked to the news website Buzzfeed early this year and subsequently ‘published’ in the form of 24 PowerPoint slides, forecasts a 7.7 percent hit to GDP under a World Trade Deal under WTO rules and a 4.8 percent contraction under Canada Plus… independent private sector forecasts and those of Whitehall are wildly far apart, many of which forecast a positive impact on GDP,” the signatories point out.

They suggest that Hammond’s own words suggest the disparities are based on difference in calculating “the benefits accruing from [new] free trade agreements and the impact of any possible new non-tariff barriers [between Britain and the EU”.

They then go on to say that the Treasury’s analysis appears to be predicated on the EU behaving “illegally and in defiance of WTO rules that are backed by the international legal order”, and express concern that the department is indulging in “policy-based evidence-making” — i.e. shaping their research to support a desired political outcome, rather than providing legitimate research.

The letter adds that “the general public is battered and bewildered” by the constant stream of conflicting accounts of the consequences of Brexit, demanding that Hammond “publish in full detail the cross-Whitehall Brexit analysis and the underlying models and assumptions so that experts from all sides can study its methodology, assumptions, and conclusions.”

Hammond is widely seen as being the major force behind efforts to either thwart Brexit or ensure that it is delivered ‘in name only’, with the country remaining subject to most EU obligations and regaining only very limited powers over its regulatory regime, trade policy, fishing waters, and so on.

At least one Cabinet colleague has gone so far as to say the Chancellor is trying to “frustrate” and “f*ck up” Brexit on purpose.




List of open letter signatories in full


Sir David Amess MP

Richard Bacon MP

Steve Baker MP

Bob Blackman MP

Crispin Blunt MP

Peter Bone MP

Ben Bradley MP

Andrew Bridgen MP

Conor Burns MP

Sir William Cash MP

Sir Christopher Chope MP

Simon Clarke MP

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP

Robert Courts MP

Philip Davies MP

Rt Hon David Davis MP

Nadine Dorries MP

Steve Double MP

Richard Drax MP

James Duddridge MP

Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP

Charlie Elphicke MP

Nigel Evans MP

Rt Hon Mark Francois MP

Marcus Fysh MP

Zac Goldsmith MP

James Gray MP

Philip Hollobone MP

Adam Holloway MP

Sir Bernard Jenkin MP

Andrea Jenkyns MP

Rt Hon David Jones MP

Daniel Kawczynski MP

Stephen Kerr MP

Pauline Latham MP

Sir Edward Leigh MP

Andrew Lewer MP

Rt Hon Dr Julian Lewis MP

Ian Liddell-Granger MP

Julia Lopez MP

Tim Loughton MP

Craig Mackinlay MP

Anne Main MP

Nigel Mills MP

Anne Marie Morris MP

Sheryll Murray MP

Dr Matthew Offord MP

Rt Hon Priti Patel MP

Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP

Rt Hon Sir Mike Penning MP

Rt Hon John Redwood MP

Jacob Rees-Mogg MP

Laurence Robertson MP

Andrew Rosindell MP

Lee Rowley MP

Henry Smith MP

Bob Stewart MP

Rt Hon Sir Desmond Swayne MP

Derek Thomas MP

Ross Thomson MP

Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP

Rt Hon John Whittingdale MP

Bill Wiggin MP

William Wragg MP


The Rt Hon The Lord Flight

The Rt Hon The Lord Lilley

The Rt Hon The Viscount Ridley

Lord Vinson of Roddam Dene


Rt Hon David Heathcoat-Amory, former MP


Professor Vudayagi Balasubramanyam, Professor of Development Economics – Lancaster University

Professor David Blake, Professor of Economics and Director of the Pensions Institute, Cass Business School

Roger Bootle, Chairman of Capital Economics

Michael Burrage, Director of Cimigo, former lecturer at the London School of Economics

Professor Tim Congdon CBE, Chairman, Institute of International Monetary Research – University of Buckingham

Professor Kevin Dowd, Professor of Finance and Economics – Durham University Business School

Charles Dumas, Chief Economist, TS Lombard

John Greenwood, Chief Economist – Invesco

Dr Graham Gudgin, University of Cambridge

Dr Andrea Hossó, Macroeconomist, public policy analyst, and former trade negotiator

Ruth Lea CBE, Economic Adviser – Arbuthnot Banking Group

Professor Graeme Leach, CEO & Chief Economist – Macronomics

Neil MacKinnon, Global Macro-Strategist – VTB Capital

Douglas MacWilliams, Deputy Chairman – CEBR

Professor Kent Matthews, Professor of Banking and Finance – Cardiff University

Edgar Miller, Convener – Economists for Free Trade

Professor Patrick Minford, Chair – Economists for Free Trade and Professor of Economics – Cardiff University

Professor David Paton, Chair of Industrial Economics – Nottingham University Business School

Dr John Whittaker, Senior Teaching Fellow – Lancaster University


Amanda Vigar, Managing Director – V&A Vigar Group

Arabella Arkwright, Partner – Hatton Country World

Johnnie Arkwright, Director – Hatton Ltd

Tom Bohills, co-founder – Alliance for British Entrepreneurs

Simon Boyd, Managing Director – Reidsteel

Sir John Craven, Former Member of Board of Managing Directors of Deutsche Bank AG

Judith Donavan CBE, Yorkshire Businesswoman

John Fifield, Chairman – Fifield Glyn Ltd

Lance Forman, Owner – H Forman & Son

Sir Rocco Forte, Chairman – Rocco Forte Hotels

Ed Harden, co-founder – Alliance for British Entrepreneurs

Ian Herbert, Chief Executive Officer – Vistair

Daniel Hodson, Chairman of The City for Britain

Mr John Longworth, Chairman – Leave Means Leave, entrepreneur and former Director-General of the British Chambers of Commerce

Tim Martin, Chairman – JD Wetherspoons

John Mills, Chairman – JML

Terence Mordaunt, Chairman – The Bristol Port Company

Jon Moynihan, Chairman – Ipex Capital

Christopher Nieper, Managing Director – David Nieper Lt, Chair – David Nieper Education Trust

Sir David Ord, Managing Director – The Bristol Port Company

Emma Pullen, Managing Director – British Hovercraft Company

Richard Tice, CEO – Quidnet Capital LLP


Professor David Collins, Professor of International Economic Law, City, University of London

Martin Howe QC, Barrister, Chair – Lawyers for Britain

Clive D. Thorne FCIArb, Solicitor and Arbitrator, Board member – Lawyers for Britain

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