A crowd sourcing campaign has been started in an attempt to fund legal action to force the Government into publishing the text of studies it funded into the effects of Brexit. The campaign, being run by the Good Law Project, aims to reach £26,000 and has already nearly obtained its initial target.
The Good Law Project group said:
“Brexit is the most significant challenge facing the UK. Its effects will have consequences for every area of our lives. They will last for generations. Our Government recognises this, and the Department for Exiting the European Union has commissioned studies investigating the potential economic impact in detail.
On 14 December 2016, DExEU minister David Davis told the House of Commons’ Committee on Exiting the EU that “our studies cover 85% of the economy – everything except sectors that are not affected by international trade”. DExEU has promised to publish a list of these studies, shortly but not now. HM Treasury has also produced a report comparing the predicted economic harm of Brexit with the predicted economic benefits of alternative free trade agreements. That report has also not been made public.
We believe we have a right to know what the Government thinks are the economic consequences of leaving the EU. Political elites should not restrict information and deliberately leave us in the dark about the future of our own country. For Brexit to be justified as an expression of democratic will that democratic will must be informed.
We cannot have a real public debate about the terms of our withdrawal from the EU without knowing the full facts. And it’s absolutely essential that MPs have access to these studies to enable them to properly scrutinise government actions and proposals”.
Over 120 MPs had already signed a letter to David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, asking for the studies to be published. The Government has said that the studies will be published at some point in the future, but has yet to commit to when that will be and exactly what the studies consist of.