The Department for Exiting the European Union have today refused to publish the list of 50 sectoral analysis undertaken and the results of the studies into the impact of Brexit on the UK economy despite confirming that all the studies have been completed. In a response to Freedom of Information Request from Seema Malhotra MP, the Department refused to publish the list of sectors saying the information was not in the public interest.
Seema Malhotra, Member of Parliament for Feltham and Heston, who sits on the Exiting the European Union Select Committee, said:
“It beggars belief that the Government have responded to this reasonable FOI request by denying the public the opportunity to see their completed sectoral analysis on the impacts of Brexit. This is about our economy and British people’s jobs. We must know what are the potential consequences and changes to the biggest constitutional question we have faced since 1945. They have not even told us what sectors have been specifically examined, the scope could be less than we were promised. It will feed speculation that the Government has something to hide.”
“This is yet another sign of the Government desperate to avoid scrutiny and seeking to bypass Parliament and the public. Publishing both the list of sectors and the results of the studies is clearly in the public interest.”
“DExEU’s response highlighted that the “release of this information could jeopardise the safe space necessary for optimal policy development”, yet most of the Cabinet seem to have chosen the front pages of national newspapers as their safe space to outline their vision, while only trying to jeopardise Theresa May’s leadership and prioritising their career over our country’s social cohesion and economic prosperity.”
“The government should be open with the British people and make public the information they have to allow for a full and factual debate that covers both the risks and benefits of leaving the European Union and informs the debate about our priorities for Brexit negotiations.”
The original request read:
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUEST:
I am writing to make an open government request for all the information to which I am entitled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
In oral evidence given by Secretary of State Rt. Hon David Davis MP to the Select Committee for Exiting the European Union in December 2016, he stated that the Department for Exiting the European Union has “carried out or are in the midst of carrying out about 57, I think, sectoral analyses, each of which has implications for individual parts of 85% of the economy, and some of those are still to be concluded.”
In response to a Parliamentary Question from the Tracy Brabin MP, on June 26th 2017 DExEU Minister Robin Walker answered “The Department for Exiting the European Union, working with officials across Government, continues to undertake a wide range of analysis to support our negotiations. Our work covers the breadth of the UK economy, and we are looking in detail at more than 50 sectors… I can confirm that we will shortly be publishing the list of sectors we have been examining”.
The Government has publicly admitted that a list of sectors has been put together, and that as of June it was to publish the list “shortly”, that some of the analyses have been completed and that others are still underway. According to the House of Commons, neither the list nor any reports have yet been published.
I would therefore like to request
1. Publication of the list of the “more than 50 sectors” referred to in the June 26th 2017 statement by the Secretary of State;
2. The scope and terms of reference for each individual sectoral analysis.
3. Which of the “more than 50” sectoral analyses have commenced.
4. Which of the “more than 50” sectoral analyses have been completed.
5. Which of these sectoral analyses have been undertaken commissioned internally within the Civil Service and which have been commissioned externally
6. The publication of each of the “more than 50” sectoral analyses that have been completed, and to be sent a copy.