Tories show further contempt over Brexit impact assessments with pathetic ‘reading room’ offer

Robin Walker: Treating Parliament with disdain.

Is nobody else utterly sick of this?

After humming and hawing for almost a month about how he was to provide the Brexit impact assessments to members of Parliament, DExEU minister Robin Walker grudgingly handed over a single paper copy of more than 800 pages of information to the Commons Brexit Committee on November 27 – more than three weeks after he was initially ordered to hand over the information.

MPs responded with renewed threats to hold the government in contempt of Parliament – so now Mr Walker has come out with another lame offer.

He is going to make the information available in a ‘reading room’, for a limited period during days in which Parliament is sitting.

Here’s his letter to MPs:

The relevant parts state:

“As Lord Callanan and I have respectively told both Houses, and in response to the House of Commons motion of 1 November, we are writing to confirm the Government has made a reading room available in 100 Parliament Street from today, Monday 4 December.

“The reading room will allow Members and Peers to have access to the sectoral reports that were submitted to the Commons Committee on Exiting the EU and Lords EU Committee, on Monday 27 November. The reading room is available for the use of Members of both Houses only; it will not be accessible to Members’ staff.

“Members of both Houses of Parliament are invited to arrange a time to read the documents at 100 Parliament Street. The room will be open on days either House is sitting from 10:00 to 13:00 and 14:00 to 17:00. Appointments can be booked for one hour slots, but Members are welcome to book multiple hours back-to-back, or on separate visits. The room is limited to eight Members or Peers at one time and we strongly encourage all Members to make an appointment in advance as entry to the room unfortunately cannot be guaranteed without an appointment.”

Brexit challenger Gina Miller raises the obvious points:

Long after March 29, 2019, in fact – let’s remember that the reading room is only available on days when Parliament is sitting and MPs and Lords have other duties.

This is a derisory dismissal of the will of Parliament by the DExEU, a department that has come under increasing pressure since the motion for the impact assessments to be published was first passed – most particularly in its failure to reach agreement with the EU27 on important issues including the Northern Ireland border before the deadline this week.

And it leads to the obvious question:

Where are the complaints to Commons Speaker John Bercow that the government is treating Parliament with contempt?


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5 thoughts on “Tories show further contempt over Brexit impact assessments with pathetic ‘reading room’ offer

  1. Barry Davies

    There is no reason to a, accept the impact assessments will be correct, b, to hand over information to the eu that it will, like the despicable way they are treating the Irish people, attempt to use for its own benefit. You don’t lay your hand down when playing cards so why should you when attempting to negotiate with the incompetent negotiators of the eu.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      There is no reason to believe an impact assessment will be false; they have to be compiled in good faith otherwise there would be repercussions for the person or people providing false information.
      There is also no reason to hide the information from the UK electorate. It’s our information; we paid for it.
      The EU is not “using” the Irish people, certainly not in any “despicable” way.
      And if the EU’s negotiators are incompetent, why have they had their way at every single point in the process so far?

  2. Andy C

    I don’t understand …. so just a couple of days ago there’s info about impact assessments being readable by a select few (as stated up above)…. yet today we have David Davis’s absurd statement that impact assessments do not actually exist *bangs head against table*

  3. NMac

    First Davis lied about the number of assessments, when he was absolutely forced to he disclosed a few worthless, heavily redacted, papers. It is perfectly clear he doesn’t want the public to know the full extent of the impact of Brexit.

Comments are closed.