Labour to force binding vote calling on government to publish Brexit papers

Posted On: 
30th January 2018

Labour is to call a Commons vote on Wednesday which could force the Government to publish its analysis into the potential effects of Brexit on the economy.

Sir Keir Starmer will use ancient Commons rules to force the Government's hand.
PA Images

Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer will again use ancient parliamentary rules which would make the result of the vote binding on ministers.

They successfully used them previously to force the publication of separate government assessments of Brexit's impact.

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The latest move comes after Buzzfeed published leaked analysis carried out by civil servants which suggested Britain would be worse off under any Brexit scenario.

Sir Keir said: "Once again Labour has been forced to use an archaic parliamentary process to make ministers do the right thing.

"People voted to leave the European Union in part to give Parliament control about its own future. That means giving MPs the information they need to scrutinise the Government’s approach to Brexit.

"Ministers cannot keep sidelining Parliament to hide the deep divisions within their own party. They should accept this motion and allow the country to have an informed debate about its relationship with Europe after Brexit."

Downing Street insisted that the leaked reports were incomplete, while Brexit minister Steve Baker said they had been released in an attempt to "undermine" the Government's approach.

He said: "It is an attempt to undermine our exit from the European Union. It has not been led by my department. It is not yet anywhere near approved by ministers. Even the ministerial team in my department has only just consulted on this paper in recent days, and we have made it clear that it requires significant further work."