BBC presenter forces Brexit secretary to reveal an alarming fact about the new deal live on TV

Brexit secretary Steve Barclay on BBC Breakfast
Support us and go ad-free

On 19 October, BBC Breakfast‘s Charlie Stayt forced the Brexit secretary to reveal an alarming fact about post-Brexit deal Britain.

Stayt pressed Stephen Barclay on what assessments the government had done on the economic impact of Boris Johnson’s new deal. The government expects MPs to vote on this deal imminently. Barclay’s answer suggested the government has done no impact assessments, and therefore has no idea what Britain will look like after the deal comes into force.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free
Wide open

On BBC Breakfast, Stayt asked Barclay:

Have you done specific analysis on what this agreement would mean for the UK economy?

Barclay replied:

Well, the deal was only reached on Thursday, and the Benn legislation requires us to bring that details [sic] back to the house today.

The BBC presenter sought clarification:

So you haven’t had time to do the analysis?

The Brexit secretary again raised the length of time – two days – since his government agreed the deal with the EU. He continued:

the analysis can’t take on board what the EU would do in the future. It can’t take on board what decisions the UK government would take in response to that ,and also it can’t address what would happen in the rest of the world.

In short, Barclay appeared to confirm his government has done little analysis of the economic impact of its proposed deal. He then essentially blamed the “Benn legislation” – introduced by Labour MP to eliminate the chances of a no-deal Brexit – for that lack of analysis. And he finished off by effectively arguing that analysis is pointless anyway because it can’t “take on board” everything that will happen everywhere in the future.


Conspicuously missing from his answer was any explanation why his government didn’t undertake analysis of what impact the terms of the deal would have before agreeing them with the EU. Such advance analysis was particularly important in this case because the government itself knew well in advance that the Benn Act required it to put any deal to parliament by 19 October.

An explanation on how Tory ministers have the brass to suggest analysis is irrelevant on national TV while paying private consultancy firms millions of taxpayers’ cash for advisory services, including analysis, wasn’t forthcoming either.

There’s concern among many about Johnson’s ability to deliver a deal that works for the majority of Britons. Barclay’s performance on BBC Breakfast shows people are right to be worried.

Featured image via screengrab/Twitter

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us