Three months ago, I asked the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis, what plans he had to publish the studies undertaken by his department on the economic impact of Brexit. After months of campaigning, including a legal challenge and a written demand from 180 MPs, we still have not had full access to these studies, which relate to the futures of millions of people.
On 28th November, the issue was debated in the House of Commons during an Urgent Question, during which it was suggested by Members of Parliament from across our political parties that David Davis stood in contempt of parliament by only heavily redacted edited versions of the impact of Brexit on the British economy. I asked:
"The Minister will understand that it is important that the Executive get on with policy, but there is a fundamental role in our constitution for Parliament to hold the Executive to account and to scrutinise this hugely important decision. The Secretary of State said that the information existed “in excruciating detail” and that the Prime Minister had seen the summaries. For that reason, it is hard to understand why we cannot see the entirety of the information —if so, with redaction. Can the Minister explain why that is not the case?"
I also said:
"Parliament did not vote for edited or redacted Brexit economic impact studies. The Government is clearly in contempt of Parliament - any editing or redaction should be done by the Brexit Select Committee, not by the Government.
This cover up stinks. All this talk of parliamentary sovereignty and the Government are in contempt of Parliament. What are they scared of? Let MP's and the public see the Brexit economic impact assessments."