Brexit assessment impact papers are ‘a whitewash’, says Whitehall insider

Posted On: 
29th November 2017

The Brexit impact assessment papers amount to a whitewash, a Whitehall insider has said.

Liam Fox and David Davis outside No 10
Credit: 
PA Images

Around 850 pages of analysis were finally handed over to the Brexit select committee yesterday - but with key information left out amid claims it could be commercially sensitive or undermine negotiations with Brussels.

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Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer then accused the Government of “treating Parliament with contempt”.

A senior Whitehall figure said the “sector overviews”, which make up a significant part of the document were “rushed very hastily to a conclusion”.

The source told The Times: “Normally you see the conclusions drawing on remarks through the report, but these didn’t even begin to do that. Two of the conclusions did not address the comments recorded in the analysis.

“The conclusions just glossed over the problems, were totally inadequate or misleading. They said that things would more or less be all right, when the warnings in the rest of the report suggested grounds for concern.” 

When asked if the documents amounted to a whitewash, the source said: “Yes”.

The Government had bee forced to hand over the documents since Parliament passed a binding motion on November 1. 

The paper also reported today the Government was not able to block that vote because it sent DUP MPs home, resulting in a failed majority. 

 “The department was casual and careless about this,” a source said.