28 Nov 2017

Government ‘report’ on Brexit sector impact said to be “extremely uneven work”

MPs on the Brexit Select Committee are now free to read those parts of the government’s “report” on Brexit sector impact if they go into a secure room.

One who has seen the report in its original form said the levels of security beggared belief given the content. There were some embarrassing moments in the assessments, the source said – mainly, from his reading, the input from sector bosses or trade associations giving their assessment of potential damage from leaving the Single Market and/or the Customs union.

But the bigger embarrassment, the source said, was that this was “extremely uneven work.” “A lot was done straight after the referendum (in June 2016) and into July (2016). It was added to but not massively rewritten,” the source said.

For those not admitted into the sealed room in Parliament to inspect Dexeu officials’ handiwork, Michel Barnier’s deputy negotiating Brexit for the EU 27 (@weyandsabine) helpfully offered an alternative and fairly gloomy analysis subtitled “the troubled waters of Brexit.”

And there are reports tonight that the Cabinet Committee meeting last week that conceded billions more for the EU has been signed off in Brussels as adequate.

The reports in the Telegraph and the Financial Times suggest that Ireland remains the biggest item waiting for agreement (EU citizens’ rights are thought to be close to agreement).

The pound spiked on the news.


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2 reader comments

  1. H Statton says:

    Well it seems that the whole 360 degree circular relationship that No.10 envisioned rolling around the UK, Northern Ireland, Ireland and the European Union (EU), would somehow sort itself out peaceably, but instead ended up as game of Buck-a-Roo! One small misplaced comment and the whole thing’s kicked up into the stratosphere. As Newton’s third law puts it: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction; or stalemate if you prefer chess.

    Instead, it’s come to an abrupt halt when the UK stopped relations with the EU – the absolute and immovable line between Ireland and Northern Ireland. Sea borders, land borders, it’s all just one big Torysaurus Rex of a problem, and the DUP is stirring things up like the witches from MacBeth.

    Neither Taoiseach Leo Varakar or Northern Ireland’s first minister Arlene Foster want to see the return of a ‘hard border’ between the two states of Ireland, and understandably so. As many have pointed out the situation in Ireland is not simply about trade but a long history of Anglo-Irish historical difficulties. It is pretty obvious that the Leavers underestimated the public reaction. It was all borders, borders, immigration, more borders and sovereignty.

    I wonder how many Leavers are even aware France might end the ‘Le Touquet agreement’ if Britain left the EU; this would no longer allow UK border guards to check passports on the French side of the channel. How many Leavers realised that our border checks occurred on the French side of the channel?

    Who knows, maybe Theresa May might be considering introducing another ‘Pale’ to keep the Irish in their place.

    All is not lost. It was heartening to hear just a couple of days ago that Nigel Farage expressed sympathy for Ireland’s concerns, that he was appreciative, he simply wished that acted differently on the subject. Whatever next?!

    As well as misinforming the public, the Leavers didn’t even bother analysing the facts themselves. They ploughed on with the anti-immigration bombast, border controls, dilution of British values etc. and they did so effectively with a visceral, hot-blooded fervour that overshadowed the leaflet wielding, common sense approach of the Remainers.

    So, on to top it all, Michael Gove won’t give up the Brexit effect on food prices – apparently it comes under a section the Freedom of Information Act which allows DEFRA to withhold the information as it might prove damaging to the public interest; the public is not to see the un-edited version of the 58 sector analyses written by David Davis. Why is this? Could it all be dastardly news for the country?

  2. H Statton says:

    A secure room sounds not unlike a provision set aside for the most difficult of mental health patients; I wouldn’t mind betting some readers were bouncing of the walls given what the document may or may not contain.

    The Leave campaign didn’t expect to get the EU referendum result they wanted, no plan was needed, or so they thought. Then along came the evening of June 23rd 2016. They had a book deal, but with not so much as a title.

    The reluctance to share the contents of the Brexit impact report is probably a spectacular indication of chaos. Maybe David Davis was hoping that MPs would be satisfied with the ‘no news is better than bad news’ and that would be the end of it. But, the theatrical cut isn’t good enough.

    The Guardian reports: “David Davis has been told he could be in contempt of parliament after his department heavily edited government analyses on the impact of Brexit on 58 industrial sectors before handing them to a select committee.”

    Michel Barnier’s troubled waters – more like a muddy tsunami of toxic deposits. And then there’s Ireland.

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