May to set out economic impact of Brexit as she battles to save her deal

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The Government is to set out its analysis of the economic impact of Brexit as Theresa May battles to save her deal for leaving the European Union.

Downing Street said the papers will cover a “range of scenarios” as the Prime Minister seeks to press her case that the agreement represents the only way to protect jobs and investment while avoiding the chaos of a no-deal break.

She will then travel to Scotland for another day of campaigning as she appeals over the heads of MPs to ordinary voters to support her plan.

The Treasury analysis is expected to conclude the UK will be far better off under the terms of Mrs May’s controversial agreement with Brussels than if it faced a disorderly Brexit with a no-deal break.

Ministers have also agreed to publish their assessment of the impact on the economy if Britain were to stay in the EU, having been faced with the prospect of a damaging Commons defeat if they refused.

Having spent Tuesday campaigning in Wales and Northern Ireland, Mrs May will use her visit to Scotland to argue that agreement offers the prospect of an “unprecedented economic partnership” with the EU after Brexit.

At the same time, she will emphasise that it will mean Britain leaves the Commons Fisheries Policy, enabling the country to decide who it allows to fish in UK waters.

“At long last, we will be ‘an independent coastal state’ again – taking back full sovereign control over our waters, and free to decide for ourselves who we allow to fish in our waters,” she is expected to say.

“The EU maintained throughout the negotiation process that it wanted to link overall access to markets to access to fisheries. It failed in the Withdrawal Agreement and it failed again in the Political Declaration.

“I have been robust in defending the interests of Scottish fisherman so far – and I will always be so.”

Ahead of her visit, Mrs May clashed with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon who released a report claiming her deal would cost people in Scotland £1,610 a year by 2030 people compared to if the UK had remained in the EU.

Ms Sturgeon said the “backstop” being put in place to prevent the return to a hard border in Ireland could leave Scotland at a “serious competitive disadvantage” to Northern Ireland.

“In short, it will make us poorer,” Ms Sturgeon said.

“No government of Scotland with the interests of this and future generations at heart could possibly accept it.”

While Mrs May continues to appeal directly to voters to support her plan, some questioned whether she would not have been better off remaining in Westminster trying to win over MPs who will decide whether to back the agreement in the vote on December 11.

With scores of Tory MPs having declared publicly they will vote against the deal, and Labour and the other opposition parties also firmly opposed, ministers have acknowledged the parliamentary arithmetic is “challenging”.

They are expected to use the next two weeks arguing there is no Commons majority for any of the alternative proposal being touted round Westminster – and that Mrs May’s plan remains the only alternative to the chaos of a no-deal break.

Meanwhile, the Government has become embroiled in a fresh row over the publication of the Attorney General Geoffrey Cox’s legal advice on the Withdrawal Agreement.

Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer is pressing ministers to comply with a binding Commons motion to publish the full advice after ministers dropped their opposition to the motion to avoid a damaging defeat.

However, Downing Street has only said the Government would be releasing a “full reasoned position statement” laying its out political and legal position on the Withdrawal Agreement.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said the move was in line with an undertaking given to MPs by Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington in the House.

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