Tue, 26 October 2021

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By David Lidington and Stephen Hammond MP
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David Davis accused of keeping voters 'in the dark' over edited Brexit impact studies

David Davis accused of keeping voters 'in the dark' over edited Brexit impact studies
2 min read

David Davis has been criticised after it emerged that government studies into the impact of Brexit have been censored before being given to MPs.

Mr Davis admitted that the reports handed over to the Brexit Select Committee do not include "commercially, market and negotiation-sensitive information".

In a letter to committee chairman Hilary Benn, the Brexit Secretary said: "Delivering a successful outcome to our EU exit negotiations for the whole country requires keeping some information confidential for the purposes of the negotiations."

Around 800 pages-worth of so-called "sectoral analyses" were handed over to Mr Benn's committee this afternoon.

That followed the Commons passing a motion earlier this month demanding that the Government make public the outcome of studies it has carried out into Brexit's possible impact on the UK economy.

Labour MP Seema Malhotra, who is a member of the committee, said: "It seems like the Government have already decided what should and should not be seen by editing them before sending the impact studies to the select committee.

"David Davis has publicly stated for months that the reports are complete. In evidence to the select committee he had said they were ‘in excruciating detail’. In November, his department was saying they ‘didn't exist’. British businesses and families deserve better than this. They need certainty for their futures.

"The select committee must be given the full analyses which were completed and nothing less. We cannot and should not be short-changed. This will not be in the national interest. The public and Parliament must no longer be kept in the dark."

But a spokesperson for the Department for Exiting the European Union insisted the Government had "satisfied the motion" passed by the Commons.

"We have always been clear that our analysis does not exist in the form Parliament requested," they said. "We have taken time to bring together the analysis we do have in a way that meets Parliament’s specific ask.

"Our overall programme of work is comprehensive, thorough and is continuously updated. This sectoral analysis is simply one part of it."

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