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Government forced to publish Brexit impact assessment after Commons climbdown

2 min read

Ministers will be forced to publish a report on the impact of Theresa May's Brexit plan after a Tory rebellion forced a Commons climbdown.

The Conservatives were facing a Parliamentary defeat over calls by supporters of a second referendum that the Government make public its assessment of the benefits of the Prime Minister's blueprint compared to what the UK gets from EU membership.

But during a Commons debate last night, Treasury minister Robert Jenrick said ministers will bring the document forward to allow MPs to read it.

Among the Conservatives who had been gearing up to rebel was Jo Johnson, who quit as rail minister in protest at the Prime Minister's Brexit plans.

He said: "If we have learned anything from the chaos of the past 30 months, it is that facts are sacred.

"This debate has been characterised by falsehoods and misinformation from day one. It is extraordinary that we have now had to force the Government, at this relatively late stage, to publish the vital information necessary for an informed public debate. Some may say that this horse has long bolted, but I say it is better late than never."

Labour MP Chuka Umunna said: "This was the first test of strength facing the People’s Vote campaign in Parliament since the Government published their draft deal, and it is one that we in the campaign have won after gaining support from all sides of the House.

"The Government was planning to con the British people. It is vital at this crucial time for our country that MPs and the public know the full facts about the cost of Brexit and how it compares to the deal we already have inside the EU.

"Brexit is not about a political psychodrama or who is up and who is down in Westminster – or in and out of the Government – it is about the future of our country and our young people in particular. And the People’s Vote campaign is gaining ground all the time.

"Just last week, the Prime Minister admitted that a People’s Vote and ‘no Brexit’ was a realistic outcome of this whole sorry mess. As more and more people see the widening gap between what was promised and what this draft Brexit deal actually delivers – a £50 billion divorce bill for no say in our future – the support for a People’s Vote will grow ever stronger."

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