Steve Baker: Government will not publish Brexit impact reports for three weeks

Posted On: 
7th November 2017

The Government will not publish papers detailing the impact of Brexit on the economy for another three weeks, a Brexit minister has said. 

Steve Baker addressing the Commons
Credit: 
PA Images

Steve Baker told MPs today it would take “some time” to bring together the evidence from a string of assessments into how quitting the EU will affect British businesses and jobs.

The delay comes after John Bercow said yesterday that the documents should be given to the Brexit Select Committee by this evening.

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In a unanimous Commons vote last Wednesday, MPs ordered the Government to deliver the assessments to the committee, who could then decide what information should be made public.

The Brexit Minister said today the documents will be passed to the committee “as soon as possible”, but the Government expects this to be three weeks. 

He said: "We will provide this information to the committee as soon as is possible. We have made clear to the House authorities that we currently expect this to be no more than three weeks."

He also stated the reports were not “a series of impact assessments examining the quantitative impact of Brexit on these sectors”.

'WIDE MIX OF ANALYSIS'

The comments follow David Davis saying yesterday the 58 individual impact assessments did not “exist” in the form understood by the opposition.

“It is a wide mix of qualitative and quantitative analysis contained in a range of documents developed at different times since the referendum. It means looking at 58 sectors to help inform our negotiating positions,” Mr Baker said today. 

Elsewhere he hit out at Labour for urging the Government to publish the reports, implying the party would be viewed as unpatriotic.

“I think the public will look at the Labour party today, will look at what they’re asking and will look at the narrative that members opposite create and they will ask, whose side are they on?”

Shadow Brexit minister Matthew Pennycook hit back at the news the reports will not be published immediately.

“This farce has dragged on far too long, ministers cannot use semantics and doublespeak to avoid the clear instruction that this House has given. There can be no further delay, ministers just need to get on with it,” he said. 

'GROSS CONTEMPT'

Tory MP Anna Soubry also attacked the Government, claiming the failure to publish was a “gross contempt” of Parliament. 

"Would the minister please take this matter seriously? This is a gross contempt of this place," she said. 

"The Government was specifically asked if it wasn't going to vote against the motion, then what was its problem. Disclose this material, and disclose it properly and quickly."