1 September 2017
A Green MEP, who exposed that the government has undertaken secret studies into the impacts of Brexit on at least 50 sectors of the economy, has put in a freedom of information request for further details. Molly Scott Cato wrote to the Brexit Secretary, David Davis, requesting he release the findings of any studies the government have carried out into the potential impacts of Brexit. In a response, the Department for Exiting the EU (DExEU) revealed they had “conducted analysis of over 50 sectors” but did not offer to share any findings.
The failure by the government to disclose details of the studies, on the grounds it “would undermine the Government’s ability to negotiate the best deal for Britain” has prompted Dr Scott Cato to use a FoI request. A leaked study, undertaken by the Department of Health, suggests Brexit could result in a shortage of more than 40,000 nurses by 2026. Molly Scott Cato has made a request for details of the impact of Brexit upon the National Health Service, and whether the study was commissioned by the Department of Health or DExEU. Dr Scott Cato said:
“It is high time the government came clean and revealed what the results of these studies are. A failure to do so just fuels the growing uncertainties and concerns people have over this government’s hard Brexit folly. We hope that by asking for one particular study, we can avoid the all-too-often prevarication on grounds of cost and other spurious reasons for refusing to disclose information that is clearly in the public interest.”
A new petition set up by the European Movement, calling on the Government to publish the analysis conducted into the impacts of Brexit on the UK's economy and across its various sectors, has already reached almost 8000 signatures. The petition has the support of Labour and the Lib Dems, as well as the Green Party. Dr Scott Cato said:
“I welcome this initiative by the European Movement and am delighted it is receiving cross -party backing and strong support from the public. It is very much in the public interest that the Brexit process is as open and transparent as possible. If the government is withholding significant information about the future of our country, then it is working against the very principle of democracy.”