Mon, 25 October 2021

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By David Lidington and Stephen Hammond MP
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Tory Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg blasts Government over incomplete impact studies

Tory Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg blasts Government over incomplete impact studies

Emilio Casalicchio

3 min read

Prominent anti-EU Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg has attacked the Government for keeping secret key elements of its Brexit impact assessments.


The outspoken North East Somerset MP said failure to reveal every aspect of the studies would be a “potential breach of privilege”.

His comments are a blow for the Government, which has insisted it has met a Commons demand to hand the assessments over to the powerful Brexit Select Committee.

The documents were finally passed to chair Hilary Benn last night but sections ministers fear could jeopardise negotiations were withheld.

Parliament forced Brexit Secretary David Davis to reveal the papers when MPs backed a motion which the Government abstained on for fear it could be defeated.

Speaking to the Evening Standard, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “If there were sensitive information then this is a problem of the Government’s own making as it neither sought to amend nor vote down the original motion.”

Brexit Minister Steve Baker insisted on Twitter his department had “satisfied” the vote.

He argued: “We have taken time to bring together the analysis we do have in a way that meets Parliament’s specific ask.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

But Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer said: “If they are changing their position now, they are going to have to explain that.”

Labour member of the Brexit Select Committee Seema Malhotra said she and colleagues were being “short-changed”.

Mr Davis told the committee: "Given that we have received no assurances from the committee regarding how any information passed will be used, we have sought not to include commercially, market and negotiation sensitive information.

"Delivering a successful outcome to our EU exit negotiations for the whole country requires keeping some information confidential for the purposes of the negotiations."

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