Brexit impact assessments ‘will take time to collate’. Why?

DExEU minister Steve Baker [archive image].

The minority Tory government is trying to delay publication of its 58 sectoral assessments on the impact of Brexit on the UK economy, by around three weeks.

Steve Baker, a minister at the Department for Exiting the European Union, has told the House of Commons that the impact assessments do not exist in the form that MPs assume.

Does this mean that Parliament has been misled by the government again?

Mr Baker said it would take three weeks to prepare the information.

Here’s the statement, as tweeted by Labour’s Seema Malhotra:

As This Writer sees it, that is failing to comply with the will of Parliament, as expressed at the Opposition Day debate last week in which MPs voted for the assessments to be made available.

Hilary Benn, who chairs the Commons Brexit committee, made that point very clearly: The Commons voted to give the reports to his committee. They should be handed over in the form they exist now. It is for the committee to decide what is published.

Mr Baker denied this, saying some of the information is commercially sensitive. He said the government will give the committee information that is “timely and relevant”.

Wrong. “Timely and relevant” would be handing over the documents today – as demanded by Commons speaker John Bercow.

As for whether the information is commercially sensitive – the Brexit committee can decide on that, in a much more even-handed way than the Tory government, whose only concern is the good of the tiny minority it serves.

As I write, Labour’s Ben Bradshaw has asked what the penalties are for contempt of Parliament, and the Conservatives’ Anna Soubry has condemned the government’s actions as a “gross” contempt.

It seems increasingly likely that contempt proceedings will take place. Who knows what will happen then?

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8 thoughts on “Brexit impact assessments ‘will take time to collate’. Why?

  1. NMac

    We are being governed by a bunch of not very clever criminals. There can be no more than two days copying here. What, I wonder, are they up to, altering the contents of the reports.

  2. Jayne

    I don’t know if I’m being daft here but it seems like they want to be thrown out by this as an excuse, so they can say they weren’t voted out by the public, so it wouldn’t be about all the recent scandals and their total and utter incompetence, contempt with which they view the public and their inhumane/deadly treatment of people with disabilities/mental illness.

  3. NMac

    The latest news is that Davis has now said that the reports don’t exist. Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive. The dishonesty continues.

  4. Roy Beiley

    The Tories are really pushing at the boundaries of democracy. May lies to the Queen regarding the deal with the DUP and now some hitherto unknown Tory bloke tries to defy the Speakers ruling that the Brexit reports must be given to the Parliamentary Committee today ( Tues).Breathtakingly arrogant behaviour.

  5. Barry Davies

    Clearly the anti brexit authors will have to adjust the lies propaganda and misdirections that the impact assessments made before the vote contain because they have already been shown to have been far to negative, and the value of these pieces of fiction will be overblown by those who despise actual democracy.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Hindsight’s a wonderful thing, isn’t it?
      Well, the Brexit impact assessments really were fiction…

  6. Kenneth Billis

    Isn’t the whole point of demanding the release of these impact assessments to enable independent scrutiny and not be delivered interpreted by the Tories?

Comments are closed.