Petition to publish brexit impact assessment

I signed a petition asking for the government to publish its internal brexit impact assessment on the effect of Brexit on our economy and today I got the response.

As Parliament agreed, we will not publish anything that would undermine our ability to negotiate the best deal for Britain.

The Department for Exiting the European Union, working with officials across Government, is undertaking a wide range of analysis covering the entirety of the UK economy in order to support negotiations. We are looking at over 50 sectors as well as areas of cross-cutting regulations.

Stakeholder engagement is a central element of our plan to build a national consensus around our negotiating position. DExEU Ministers are working closely with colleagues across Government to ensure that we are speaking to a wide range of sectors.

The Government is committed to negotiating a deep and special partnership with the European Union and is conducting a wide-ranging programme of analysis. It would not be appropriate, however, to publish details that could undermine the UK’s negotiating position with the EU, and Parliament has voted not to publish such details.

Parliament will have a say on the final deal we achieve with the European Union as we will put that deal to a vote in both Houses before it comes into force. We will, of course, continue to support Parliament in its scrutiny role throughout the negotiating stage. It is not standard practice to provide an ongoing commentary on internal analytical work that is being carried out within government. On 7 December 2016 the House of Commons voted in favour of an amended Opposition motion which stated that there should be no disclosure of material that could reasonably be judged to damage the UK in any negotiations to withdraw from the European Union after Article 50 has been triggered.

Department for Exiting the European Union

I think this is very telling. The first line of the response says it all

As Parliament agreed, we will not publish anything that would undermine our ability to negotiate the best deal for Britain.

So – all the assessments the Government have carried out show that we will be in a weaker position after Brexit. If we were in a stronger position and the assessments showed our economy booming they would strengthen our hand (and I’ve no doubt the Government would publish them), so they are saying that the position will be so bad we will be shown to be weakened enough to accept any deal.

Basically, the Government doesn’t need to publish their brexit impact assessment – the first line says it all.

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