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Cartoonist (and friend of Vox Political) Gary Barker produced this cartoon, explaining prime minister May’s policies in a few brief words. It seems likely her Brexit will follow this pattern, don’t you think?

Many people are confessing that they are confused about exactly what the different scenarios for Brexit mean.

Is Mrs May’s deal the only one in town? (I’m afraid that won’t be answered here.)

Is her deal better than no deal? If so, should we blithely accept it? (No, we shouldn’t.)

Two reports have appeared over the last couple of days, courtesy of NIESR and UKandEU (whoever they are). Analysis of both follows, but be warned by Professor Brian Cox (who has good advice here, unlike his comments last week):

The Financial Times commented on the same report as follows: “Theresa May’s Brexit agreement will hit British living standards up to the equivalent of £2,000 a year per person in the long run, according to a second independent economic examination of the prime minister’s deal.

“The researchers said the exact costs were highly uncertain, but the deal was likely to impose significant new friction to trade with Europe, reduce the economic benefits of migration and worsen the outlook for the public finances.

“Anand Menon and Jonathan Portes of King’s College said the group had not taken account of any short-term potential disruption caused by a no-deal scenario because “we do not believe meaningful quantitative modelling of this scenario is feasible”.

“By 2030, they estimate that gross domestic product per person would be between 1.9 per cent and 5.5 per cent lower if Mrs May’s deal were passed than if the UK remained in the EU. That is the equivalent of an annual hit to living standards of between £700 and £2,000 per person. If there was no deal, the study found that long-term costs might rise to more than £3,000 each year.

“Compared with the results from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, published on Monday, which suggested a hit in the range of £700 to £1,100 a year per person, the new results generate larger losses when they add an assumption that productivity growth would suffer from increased trade friction.

“The results released on Tuesday will heap further pressure on Mrs May as she tries to persuade the public of the merits of her deal.”

For commentary on the NIESR report, let’s go to the BBC: “The government’s Brexit deal will leave the UK £100bn worse off a year than if it had remained in the EU, a study by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research has said.

“The study commissioned by the People’s Vote, which wants a second referendum, said GDP would be 3.9% lower by 2030.

“”This is the equivalent of losing the economic output of Wales or the City of London,” it said.

“It found that the government’s preferred outcome – leaving in March 2019 and entering a transition period lasting until December 2020 before moving to a free trade agreement – would lead to a huge reduction in trade and investment.

“By 2030, at the end of the first decade outside the EU, the research predicts that GDP per head would fall by 3%, amounting to an average cost per person of £1,090 at today’s prices.

“It also estimates that total trade between the UK and the EU would fall by 46%.

“The report also modelled alternative Brexit outcomes against staying in the EU.

“This showed that remaining in a customs union beyond the transition period, possibly through invoking the so-called Irish “backstop”, would still mean a hit of £70bn annually by 2030.

“Another scenario, favoured by some Brexit supporters, of an “orderly no deal” departure from the EU would reduce GDP by 5.5%, or £140bn, it said.

“Chancellor Philip Hammond has said the deal is better than staying in the EU.”

So he must be mistaken, or lying – according to the economic modelling by NIESR.

And that means Mrs May’s deal should be treated with suspicion.

Certainly Labour’s Shadow Chancellor thinks so. Commenting on the UKinEU report, John McDonnell said: “This analysis confirms what everyone knows: that this deal will be bad for growth, incomes and the public finances.

“If the Prime Minister is unwilling or unable to deliver a Brexit deal that works for the whole country, she should stand aside, call a General Election and let Labour deliver a deal that protects jobs and delivers for the whole country.”

The bottom line is that all of the possible deals that have been presented to the nation will harm ordinary people.

Contrast that with the claims made by the various ‘Leave’ campaigns in the run-up to the EU referendum in 2016 and the conclusion is obvious: People who voted to leave the European Union were conned.

And now Mrs May is trying to con us all again by saying her deal is the best one possible. The best than can be said of it is it’s the deal that suits her best. Everything else she says is just another con act.

But then, we can’t expect any better from her, really, can we?

Here’s the bottom line:

Every MP knows the above.

Those with a conscience will use that information to vote against Mrs May’s bad Brexit deal.

Those without – well, we’ll know who they are, at least.

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