Research produced by the information company, Thomson Reuters, and reported in "City AM" on 2nd December 2019 and "The Times" a day later has concluded that Brexit pre-occupation is blocking the UK Parliament from passing legislation that impacts UK business.
Parliament passed 685 business laws, that were not Brexit - related, in the year to the end of September 2019. This is down from 864 such business laws in the previous year and is the fourth consecutive year that the number of such businesses laws being passed by Parliamnt has fallen.
Of course, there could be other explanations for such a consistent pattern in falls of numbers of such business laws but the researchers at Thomson Reuters seem quite clear that the real explanation is Brexit pre-occupation.
At the same time and somewhat by contrast, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has published a forecast , which shows that there could be an economic dividend from Brexit with the growth in Gross Domestic Product ( GDP) reaching 1.8% by 2021 if the conditions are right. In particular, according to "The Times", this forecast is based on the "assumption that Britain leaves the EU by January 31 next year and has clear line of sight to an ambitious trade deal", which trade deal must necessarily involve "alignment with EU rules where essential for frictionless trade". If these conditions are not satisfied, then the CBI forecasts that growth in GDP could fall as lows as 0.4% by 2021.
In the current General Election debate, one side proclaims the need to "get Brexit done" as soon as possible whereas the other side is essentially arguing that "Brexit should get undone" as soon as possible. Both sides argue their cases with equal conviction and no doubt the Thomas Reuters research and the CBI forecast can be prayed in aid by either side to boost their respective cases.
The reports are useful benchmarks but at a time when both the ardent proponents and opponents of Brexit often assert their cases with missionary and intransigent zeal, it is not clear how influential they will be.
Nevertheless, full marks to the authors of the reports concerned for bringing greater objectivity to the Brexit debate.