Malhotra – Davis guilty of dereliction of duty over impact assessments

David Davis has said today that the Government has not carried out any sectoral assessments of the impact of Brexit on the economy – despite the fact that both he and his junior ministers have repeatedly said in the past that they have. 

Commenting, Seema Malhotra MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, said:

“David Davis has admitted the Government have not conducted a single assessment on the impact of leaving the European Union to our economy. For a year he’s been saying the work is underway. Then he said the reports were completed. Then he said they couldn’t be shared. Now he says not just that the reports don’t exist but that the work hasn’t yet started. We are through the looking glass. 

“This Government are the blind leading the blind, making policy decisions without facts or evidence. This is the most important change for our country for generations and people need confidence that the Government is prepared. Instead it appears they are taking the biggest gamble with our economy and risking the prosperity of businesses and families across the country. 

"Parliament and the public need clarity and complete honesty from ministers. Brexit is too important to be dealt with in this way. If the Government has genuinely not done assessments of the impact of leaving the Single Market and Customs Union or the impact of no deal on the economy, it is an utter dereliction of duty.”

Also commenting, Pat McFadden MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, said:

“When asked about impact assessments on 25th October the Secretary of State told the Brexit Committee that they existed “in excruciating detail”.  Today he said they didn’t exist at all and had never existed.  He also said no assessment had been made by the Government before Ministers decided to leave the EU’s customs union.  Moreover he said that he didn’t believe in forecasts because they were always wrong.  What is emerging is an ideological stance on the part of leading Brexiteers which is so fearful and distrustful of economic assessment that winging it has become a point of principle.  It is extraordinary to take such a reckless and cavalier approach to the most important issue facing the country in decades.”


Notes to editors:

  • David Davis said on the Andrew Marr Show on 25th June 2017: “That data’s being gathered, we’ve got 50, nearly 60 sector analyses already done, we’ve got planning work going on in the customs, we’ve got planning work going on 22 other issues which are critical, 127 all told."


  • He told the House of Commons on 2nd February 2017: “We continue to analyse the impact of our exit across the breadth of the UK economy, covering more than 50 sectors —I think it was 58 at the last count—to shape our negotiating position.”


  • Then Brexit Minister David Jones said on 27th April 2017: “The Department has carried out an in-depth assessment right across 50 sectors of the economy.”


  • Then Brexit Minister Lord Bridges said on 14th September 2016: “My Lords, we are looking at the British economy, sector by sector, to see the impact that Brexit might have on it and taking a sounding of views right across the economy. That seems to me to be the perfectly logical way to approach this, acting purely in the national interest.”