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David Lammy @DavidLammy
, 20 tweets, 11 min read Read on Twitter
Thread: at 09:30 @CommonsEUexit meeting to discuss redacted and edited Brexit economic impact assessments. Is Govnt in contempt of Parliament? Did the Govnt mislead Parliament and the public? Did the reports ever exist in the first place? Let's look at the evidence (1)
(2) In August 2017 then Brexit Minister David Jones confirmed that @DExEUgov had "conducted analysis of over 50 sectors of the economy. Spokesman confirmed that a list of the sectors would be published, but not the analyses themselves.…
(3) So I started asking questions of @DavidDavisMP and @DExEUgov. On 13 September Brexit Minister @WalkerWorcester refused to acknowledge such analyses existed, and refused to publish them. Same story on 12 October when @SteveBakerHW answered.
(4) At the same time, @SeemaMalhotra1 also wanted to know what was going on with these impact studies, so she FOI'ed @DExEUgov. @DExEUgov said "I can confirm @DExEUgov holds the information you have requested" and "we intend to publish the information"
(5) Stay with me, this is where it gets interesting. On 10 October 120+ MP's (soon rising to 180) wrote to @DavidDavisMP to find out what was going on and to demand publication of the studies, accusing him of keeping Parliament and the public in the dark…
(6) At the same time, @DavidDavisMP was threatened with legal action to publish the studies, and @DExEUgov maintained their line that they would soon publish a list of the sectors that are covered by the impact assessments…
(7) At the end of October, the Government responded by publishing the list of sectors (58), confirmed that the reports did in fact exist but refused to publish them, claiming the need for a "safe space"…
(8) International Trade Secretary Liam Fox confirmed to @Peston that the impact studies did exist…
(9) David Davis confirmed to Parliament (Brexit Select Committee) that the reports existed, but that the Prime Minister had not in fact read them…
(10) In evidence to the Select Committee, @DavidDavisMP confirmed that the reports exist and said that they were in "excruciating detail". Hold on, U-turn coming...
(11) Here, verbatim, is @DavidDavisMP confirming to @SeemaMalhotra1 at @CommonsEUexit (ie confirming to Parliament) that the impact studies exist in excruciating detail and that the Prime Minister has seen the "summary outcomes" of them
(12) So on 1 November Parliament votes unanimously for the Government to hand over the impact studies, unedited and unredacted, to the Brexit Select Committee. Brexit Minister @SteveBakerHW says "There has been no suggestion of redaction"…
(13) House of Commons Speaker John Bercow confirmed that the Govnt should move quickly to publish the studies, Leader of the House @andrealeadsom confirmed the vote was binding and that the information would be published shortly…
(14) Are you ready for the plot twist? @DavidDavisMP then writes to Brexit Select Committee Chair @hilarybennmp saying "since the start of this process the Government has been clear that there are not, nor have there ever been, a series of discrete impact assessments"
(15) Yes you read that right. Shortly after telling Parliament that the reports exist in "excruciating detail" and that the PM has read the summaries, David Davis changes his mind and says that they don't exist and they never did exist. An Orwellian attitude to the truth.
(16) Things then took a turn for the worse. Brexit Minister @SteveBakerHW questioned the patriotism of MP's asking about the impact assessments, asking "which side are you on?". Erm, on the side of parliamentary sovereignty, just like you said you were!
(17) The Government then said they needed 3 more weeks, claiming that there had been "some misunderstanding" about the impact studies. No, the only misunderstanding was the Brexit Secretary misleading Parliament and the public
(18) So today we are in a situation where the Government is in contempt of Parliament and even @@Jacob_Rees_Mogg is calling for the unredacted reports to be published in full…
(19) If this sounds like an episode of The Thick Of It with the Government making it up as they go along then you would be right, but it isn't very funny in real life.
(20) And let me be honest, after working for 3 months to get these impact studies published (if they ever even existed). If they were good news, then they would have been all over the front pages in "excruciating detail" and their contents would be shouted from the rooftops.
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