- Brexit Committee published summaries of sectors set to be affected by leaving the EU.
- However, the reports do little to assess how sectors could be impacted.
LONDON – The Brexit Committee has published summaries of 39 sectors that will be impacted by Brexit.
The reports – which have been the subject of controversy in recent weeks – were published online on Thursday morning as part of the tradition of heaps of data being released in the final hours before Parliament heads into recess.
They were handed to the Brexit Committee by the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) earlier this month.
The reports, produced by DEeXU, do not access how leaving the European Union could impact the key sectors of Britain’s economy, despite Brexit Secretary David Davis previously suggesting that such analysis exists.
In October, Davis said that impact assessments had been conducted in “excruciating” detail.
“We’ve already got 50, nearly 60 sector analyses already done,” he also said in June, leading Parliament to believe that impact assessments had been conducted into up to 58 sectors of the British economy.
However, earlier this month Davis told the Brexit Committee that analysis of how Brexit could impact sectors do not exist at all. He said the “usefulness” of producing detailed impact assessments into specific sectors was “near-zero.”
He added that he was “not a fan of economic models because they have all been proven wrong.”
The reports, which you can read here, repeat the line: “As the government has made clear, it is not the case that 58 sectoral impact assessments exist.”
What the document offers instead is summaries of each sector and how it interacts with the EU as things stand.
Labour MP Pat McFadden, a leading member of anti-hard Brexit organisation Open Britain, said: “The knots the Government has tied itself in over publication of these reports says more about the state of politics and the Government’s paranoid state of mind than it does about Brexit.
“There is little or nothing in them that couldn’t be learned from the annual reports of different trade bodies yet we were asked to believe that somehow revealing how many cars were made in Britain every year was an act of national treachery.”
“The Government’s most ardent supporters on the Select Committee voted not to reveal the sections which showed the industry views of Brexit and what they hoped the outcome of the talks would be. You have to wonder what they have to fear.
“This whole saga of whether or not there were impact assessments or sectoral studies, and what the difference between them may or may not be, has revealed that breezy busking won’t cut it when people’s jobs and livelihoods are on the line. Winging it should not be a matter of principle.
“The best way through this is to know as much as we can and put jobs and prosperity before the ideology that has driven much of the positioning up until now.”
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