Treasury Encouraging Business to Undermine Government Policy

This line in Henry Newman’s piece for ConHome this morning should be setting off alarm bells among Tory MPs:

“Recent interventions by companies including Airbus and BMW no doubt reflect serious concerns. They should not be glibly dismissed. But at the same time it’s shocking to hear from a City contact that the Treasury itself – including Government advisers – is actively persuading businesses to go public with their concerns. It’s truly topsy-turvy politics when 11 Downing Street is trying to ramp up criticism of Government policy rather than assuage concerns. All of this has consequences: for economic confidence but also for the strength of the Government in negotiations.”

If Treasury advisers are actively encouraging companies like Airbus to come out against no deal, that is clearly in breach of government policy – which still argues no deal is better than a bad deal. It also undermines the UK’s negotiating position, which relies on the ability to walk away. Who in the Treasury is working against the government’s public position? Has Hammond sanctioned it? Brexiteer Tory MPs should be kicking off about this… 


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