Damian Green dismisses Brexit 'conspiracy theories'

Former Cabinet minister Damian Green has hit out at Tory Brexiteers who refuse to acknowledge the economic consequences of leaving the EU.

Mr Green, who was effectively Theresa May's deputy, dismissed "conspiracy theories" claiming Whitehall officials were plotting to thwart Britain's withdrawal from the EU.

He urged ministers to publish any analysis work carried out by officials on the economic impact of Brexit so there could be a proper public debate.

Mr Green was sacked as first secretary of state in December after he admitted lying over claims that police discovered pornography on his Commons computer in 2008.

In his first interview since his departure from government, he said there was a "great problem" with politicians who would not accept evidence.

His comments follow claims by leading Tory Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg that the Treasury was "fiddling the figures" after it was reported Whitehall modelling had found the UK would be worse off outside the EU under a range of possible scenarios.

Interviewed for BBC Radio 4 documentary The Ministry Of Leave, Mr Green said: "I do reject all the conspiracy theories that suggest there's some sort of plot inside the official machine to thwart the will of the people.

"There's a great problem of politicians who won't accept evidence. We can all argue about economic forecasts and none of them are 100% accurate, but you have to rely on them, and if you reject evidence you don't like then you are likely to end up producing faith-based policies.

"If analysis is being produced then publish it. And frankly, there will be a big political debate. Let's have this argument in public, that's what democracies do."