Brexit: UK urged to reveal economic impact of trade deals

The UK has signed three new trade agreements since Brexit. Photo: Reuters/Stringer
The UK has signed three new trade agreements since Brexit. Photo: Reuters/Stringer

MPs have urged the UK to set out the impact of new post-Brexit trade agreements on Britain's economy.

MPs on the International Trade committee (ITC) said the government should produce a document explaining at the national, regional and sectoral level, and update this following the ramifications of new agreements.

The UK has signed three trade deals since officially leaving the European Union on 31 January 2021.

Recent research showed that Brexit reduced the overall trade flows between the continent and the UK by nearly one-fifth. Trade to the EU dropped by 20% relative to the scenario in which Brexit had not occurred, according to Economic and Social Research Institute analysis. Trade in the opposite direction fell 16% on the same basis.

The cross-party committee of MPs also called for the government to create a "single trade strategy" to allow for better scrutiny of trade agreements.

The strategy should demonstrate what the government wants to "achieve from its negotiations and how new deals will support this", the committee said.

Read more: UK on course for a deep recession as downturn worsens

Angus Brendan MacNeil MP, chair of the ITC, said: "Since leaving the European Union, the UK has negotiated two brand-new free trade deals.

"Despite warm words, the government has swerved our scrutiny and deliberately prevented MPs from being given a proper say on these vitally important agreements.

"It’s clear that the current approach is not fit for purpose. That’s why the government must commit to full and proper scrutiny of trade agreements and accept our recommendations as a matter of urgency."

Read more: Rishi Sunak pushes back crucial autumn budget to 17 November

The UK economy is facing a "profound crisis" new prime minister Rishi Sunak said on Monday, something that has been reiterated by statistical releases, which show the economy is headed for a deep recession.

Britain's economic policymaking credibility has been shattered following former PM Liz Truss's disastrous mini-budget, which caused turbulence in financial markets, pushed up mortgage costs and forced the Bank of England to intervene in government bonds to prevent a collapse in pension funds.

Big parts of the mini-budget was scrapped by chancellor Jeremy Hunt, who will deliver a full autumn fiscal statement on 17 November alongside forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility.

Hunt is seeking reportedly seeking to find ways to fill a fiscal blackhole of £35bn when he delivers his delayed fiscal plans next month. The Treasury has drawn up a list of 104 options to cut spending as the government tries to get the public finances back on a sustainable footing, Bloomberg reported, citing officials.

Watch: What is a recession and how do we spot one?