Nicky Morgan, chair of the Treasury Committee, has dismissed the Chancellor’s forecast of a “deal dividend” saying it was “not credible” to describe any economic boost from a Brexit deal as a "dividend".
The Conservative MP said that the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond had said that if MPs backed a deal there would be a "boost from the end of uncertainty, and a boost from releasing some of the fiscal headroom that I am holding in reserve at the moment".
Ms Morgan told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer: “I think if you were to say that something is a dividend, people would expect that to be a payment over and above what should be happening anyway.
“If you end up with an agreement and therefore that does unlock business investment. Because we know businesses are holding back because of the uncertainty – holding back investment decisions and hiring decisions.
“Then that is not really a dividend that is just avoiding something that is really damaging.
“I think everybody wants to bring uncertainty to an end but to describe it as a dividend is on the overoptimistic side.”
'A deal is possible'
The MP for Loughborough added that she still thought getting a deal was “possible” and “essential”.
“I still think a deal is possible that does get a majority of MPs into the same lobby,” she said.
“I think that is completely essential because that is what the country is expecting MPs to be able to do.
“Obviously we have been relying on the government to give us that lead and we will hear what the prime minister has to say today on the talks she has been engaged in.
“The Malthouse Compromise that I have been working on – with people from very different Brexit views – we have been in hours of meetings with Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay and I think it is very clear that there is a lot to the proposals that would work.
“It is a different approach so the government would have to raise that with the EU but it is about parliamentary arithmetic and getting the largest number of MPs into the lobby to approve the agreement.
“I think perhaps some earlier attention to that would have meant we would not be running up against the end of the Article 50 deadline as much as we are now.”