UK Government says publishing Brexit impact reports would undermine policy-making

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 31 October 2017 in News

Responding to a Freedom of Information request from Labour MP Seema Malhotra, the UK Brexit department claimed the publication of the 58 documents would undermine policy creation

Image credit: PA

The UK Government has refused to publish key details of a set of controversial Brexit impact assessments on the basis that officials need a “safe space” to make policy.

The Government yesterday published a list of the sectors covered in the 58 documents but refused to provide any more information on how they would be impacted.

But responding to a Freedom of Information request from Labour MP Seema Malhotra, the UK Brexit department claimed the publication of the 58 documents would undermine policy creation.

“There is a strong public interest in policy-making associated with our exit from the EU being of the highest quality and conducted in a safe space to allow for design and deliberation to be done in private,” the department said in response to the request.

 “In this case, releasing the commissioning document for this exercise, which is still a live policy issue, may undermine the effective formulation or development of policies which are key to our negotiating strategy.

“Disclosure would similarly set a precedent that would inhibit free and frank discussion in the future. Without the necessary safe space for unreserved instruction in commissioning briefs, the quality of the eventual advice from the respective exercise would be diminished and would in turn lead to poorer decision making.”

The department said it would prefer to release the documents in an “organised and efficient manner” than through FoI.

Malhotra said: “The Government’s reference to needing to conduct Brexit policy-making in a ‘safe place to allow for design and deliberation to be done in private’ seems to be more about keeping parliament and the public in the dark,” she said.

“Parliament is not here to give the government a blank cheque on Brexit, but to assist in achieving the best deal for our economy and society.”

Tags

Categories

Related Articles

“Smash and grab” on devolution will "haunt the Tories like the Poll Tax", warns Ian Blackford
18 June 2018

Speaking ahead of an emergency House of Commons debate on the Sewel Convention, Blackford warns “Scotland will not accept or forget the Tory government’s smash and grab raid"

A good plan?
12 June 2018

The planning system is hugely important and it's time it was given the respect and attention it deserves

Sketch: Brexit, fishing and cold sick
23 March 2018

Sketch: Douglas Ross has been talking about drinking cold sick out of a pint glass

Air quality: MSPs urge Scottish Government to launch full review of approach to active travel
28 February 2018

There are currently 39 pollution zones in Scotland, which have been declared by councils to be at risk of dangerous levels of air pollution

Related Sponsored Articles

Associate feature: 5 ways IoT is transforming the public sector
5 February 2018

Vodafone explores some of the ways IoT is significantly improving public sector service delivery

Share this page