One of the few things that most people on both sides of the Brexit debate can agree on is that, in the short term, to leave the European Union without an agreement on the terms of leaving would damage the economy.
There is a genuine debate about the long-term advantages and disadvantages of leaving, a debate in which the views of The Independent are clear. There is a discussion about the scale of the damage that leaving without a deal would cause. But no one, bar perhaps a few of Brexit’s most extreme advocates, deny that even on optimistic assumptions there will be costs. Those costs will be carried initially by the business community, but ultimately by the people of the UK.
Philip Hammond has suggested that the costs might be up to £90bn, depending on the reaction by the various EU countries. Separately, the chancellor has suggested that businesses will have to be compensated to the tune of £22bn, as we have reported.
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