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- The UK government has finally provided its secret reports on the impact of Brexit to MPs.
- But it has refused to provide key sections that it says could affect Brexit negotiations.
- Some MPs are furious, accusing the Conservative government of a “cover-up.”
The UK government has finally given MPs its secret Brexit reports, but has removed key details – prompting angry accusations of a “cover-up” by MPs.
The government has previously resisted attempts to hand over the 800-page analysis of how leaving the European Union will affect the UK economy, but it has now finally provided the document to the Brexit Select Committee and Lords EU Committee, which will then decide what to make public.
But in a letter published by The Huffington Post, Brexit Secretary David Davis wrote that “the government has … been clear that it will not release any information which might risk undermining our negotiations with the EU,” and that the government has “sought not to include commercially, market and negotiation sensitive information.”
The letter has prompted angry responses from MPs. Keir Starmer, Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary, said in an emailed statement: “Parliament was very clear in its instruction to ministers. All 58 impact assessments should have been shared with the select committee in full, without redaction and unedited.
“If the Government has failed to comply with this ruling then we will not hesitate in raising this matter with the Speaker.”
In a tweet, Labour MP for Streatham Chuka Umunna wrote: “This stinks of a cover-up, pure and simple. Ministers don’t want the public to know the facts on the impact of Brexit. This has less to do with any supposed undermining of negotiations and everything to do with pulling the wool over people’s eyes. Totally and utterly unacceptable.”
It could also, he added, be “contempt of Parliament” by “not providing what was promised.”
Labour has pressured the Conservative government to releases the reports for weeks, with Starmer telling Business Insider that its refusal was making a “mockery” of the Brexit proposal.
Here’s the full letter, via The Huffington Post:
- Brexit Comittee
- Brexit Committee