12 April 2017
Green Party spokesperson for EU relations and South West MEP, Molly Scott Cato, is today demanding the government urgently disclose the results of ‘secret studies’ into the potential impacts of a hard Brexit. Writing to David Davis MP, the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, she calls for him to make public the results of any studies carried out by the government.
The call comes as leaked documents from a Department of Health study this week reveal that under a hard Brexit scenario – of leaving the single market and customs union and ending freedom of movement – the NHS could be short of 40,000 nurses by 2016. In the letter, Dr Scott Cato asks Mr Davis to make public their scenario planning in areas including the economic impacts of leaving the single market; of ending freedom of movement; and of reducing environmental regulations. She also asks if there have been any studies on the impacts on farmers and rural communities that she represents in the South West. Dr Scott Cato said:
“People have a right to know and want to know about the government’s plans post-Brexit and the potential impacts of these plans. The slogan 'take back control' is still ringing in our ears. This requires nothing less than full transparency and decisions made by our elected representatives, not hidden documents and legislation by a secret cabal. Now more than ever, we need confidence in our long-term planning and this can only be achieved through open, transparent decision-making.
“If we face a future where we cannot staff our hospitals and care homes; where crops are left to rot in fields because there is no one to harvest them, we deserve to know as a matter of urgency.
“This failure to disclose the results of impact studies reveals a government running scared of its own extreme form of Brexit. Either that, or having successfully engineered a power grab, the Tory right is keeping the dire consequences of leaving the EU under wraps, in case people themselves, armed with that knowledge, demand to take back control of the Brexit process.
“It is because of the lack of transparency over Brexit and uncertainty of what lies ahead that Greens are calling for a ratification referendum at the end of the Article 50 process: a chance to vote on the deal agreed between the UK and the EU”.