Number 10 warns Scottish government over threat to publish leaked Brexit analysis

Posted On: 
1st February 2018

Downing Street has issued a warning to the Scottish government over its threat to publish the leaked Brexit impact papers.

Mike Russell and Nicola Sturgeon
PA Images

Holyrood’s Brexit minister Mike Russell has written to David Davis insisting the public "have a right to know" what effect Britain quitting the EU could have on their lives.

The government analysis, which was leaked this week to Buzzfeed, suggests that the UK economy will suffer in any possible Brexit scenario.

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In his letter to Mr Davis, Mr Russell said: "As you are aware the Scottish government considers that the public have a right to know the impact on jobs and living standards of the UK government’s decision to pursue the UK’s exit from the EU and therefore that this analysis should be made publicly available.”

He added: “Further, this is not our analysis and we do not see it as our responsibility to make arrangements on confidential handling.

“I want to be clear that if you send the analysis to us we will make it public."

Ministers have agreed to publish the analysis - which they insist in incomplete and does not examine the impact of the bespoke Brexit deal they want to strike with Brussels - but have insisted that MPs can only view them in strictly-controlled conditions.

Asked how they would respond to the Scottish government making them public, a Number 10 spokesman said: "We expect those who have access to the published analysis, as it's in the overwhelming national interest, not to publish anything that would risk our negotiating position."

The incident marks the latest headache for ministers, after Steve Baker's suggestion that the civil service are conspiring to keep Britain in the customs union after Brexit.