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Home Politics The Brexit ‘impact assessment’ row isn’t going away

The Brexit ‘impact assessment’ row isn’t going away

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Palace of WestminsterImage copyright Reuters

The government has handed over its analysis of the impact of Brexit on parts of the economy – but the reports are not complete.

There has been a long-running row over the studies of 58 sectors. MPs voted for them to be released on 1 November.

Labour and some Conservative MPs have demanded their publication, saying they were being kept in the dark about the impact Brexit might have.

Documents have now been sent to the Brexit Committee of MPs.

But BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg says she now expects a “big row” because Brexit Secretary David Davis has admitted the reports are incomplete.

In his letter to Brexit Committee chairman Hilary Benn, Mr Davis said the papers had been redacted because there was no guarantee the committee would keep them secret.

He said: “Given that we have received no assurances from the committee regarding how any information passed will be used, we have sought not to include commercially, market and negotiation sensitive information.

“Delivering a successful outcome to our EU exit negotiations for the whole country requires keeping some information confidential for the purposes of the negotiations.”

The government said it had satisfied the Commons motion passed by MPs – in which Conservatives abstained – with the release of the documents to the committee.

“We have always been clear that our analysis does not exist in the form Parliament requested,” a spokesman said.

But Labour committee member Seema Malhotra said it appeared the government had “already decided what should and should not be seen” by editing the studies.

She added: “The select committee must be given the full analyses which were completed and nothing less.

“We cannot and should not be short-changed. This will not be in the national interest. The public and Parliament must no longer be kept in the dark.”

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