Government will publish Brexit impact papers, Andrea Leadsom tells MPs

Posted On: 
2nd November 2017

The Government will publish an edited version of papers detailing the impact of Brexit on the economy, the Leader of the Commons has said.

Andrea Leadsom speaking in the Commons this morning
Credit: 
PA

Andrea Leadsom told MPs that yesterday’s positive vote on a Labour motion to release the papers was binding on the Government.

However she indicated that ministers would delay publication to redact elements of the papers that could damage the UK’s negotiating position in the Brexit talks.

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“It is absolutely accepted that the motion passed by the house yesterday is binding, and that the information will be forthcoming,” Ms Leadsom said.

“But as I think has been made very clear, it is the case that it’s difficult to balance the conflicting obligation to protect the public interest through not disclosing information that could harm the national interest, whilst at the same time ensuring that the resolution that the house passed yesterday is adhered to.”

However Labour’s motion, which the Government last night declined to oppose, calls for ministers to release the full papers to the Brexit Select Committee, whose chairman Hilary Benn may then decide what information can be released.

In Brexit department questions this morning, DExEU minister Robin Walker said discussions with Mr Benn were already underway.

“The Secretary of State has already spoken to the chairman of the select committee of exiting the European Union and will be discussing this matter with him further in due course."