30/01/2018 22:00 GMT

Labour Plans To Force Government To Publish Brexit Economic Assessments

MPs have engineered a binding Commons vote.

Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer

Labour MPs plan to force the government to publish its Brexit economic assessments by holding a binding vote in the Commons. 

The party will use an opposition day debate on Wednesday to table a motion calling for ministers to make their analysis of the UK economy after various Brexit ‘end states’ available to all MPs. 

It will use the same mechanism which compelled the government to make its sectoral assessments available to the Brexit select committee - forcing David Davis to admit there weren’t any.

This procedure gives the Commons the power to require ministers to release government papers to Parliament. Unlike typical opposition day debates, the vote - if passed - will be binding.

Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer said: “Once again Labour has been forced to use an archaic parliamentary process to make ministers do the right thing.

“People voted to leave the European Union in part to give Parliament control about its own future. That means giving MPs the information they need to scrutinise the government’s approach to Brexit.

“Ministers cannot keep sidelining Parliament to hide the deep divisions within their own party. They should accept this motion and allow the country to have an informed debate about its relationship with Europe after Brexit.”

Labour’s motion in full reads: 

“That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, That she will be graciously pleased to give directions that the EU exit analysis which was referred to in his response to an Urgent Question in the House on 30  January by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union be provided to the Exiting the European Union Committee and made available to all Members on a confidential basis as a matter of urgency.”

According to documents leaked to BuzzFeed News, the government’s latest analysis of the impact of Brexit says the UK would be worse off outside the European Union under every scenario modelled.

The assessment showed even if the UK is able to negotiate a comprehensive free trade agreement – as Theresa May hopes – it estimated growth would be down 5% over the next 15 years.

But Tory Brexiteer Iain Duncan Smith told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme on Tuesday that the leak was “a little bit suspicious”.

“It’s deliberately leaked because it gives a bad view, we should put it on one side and leave it alone,” he said. “It’s an incomplete report.”

The former cabinet minister added that if the government got Brexit “right” then the “economy will grow, food prices will come down and particularly the poorest in society will benefit”.

“None of us know exactly where this will end up,” he said.