Speaker criticises David Davis over Discharge of Brexit papers

John Bercow

Commons Speaker John Bercow has criticised David Davis over his role within the Discharge of Brexit impact papers.

He ruled which the Brexit secretary was not in contempt of Parliament.

although he said Mr Davis’s decision to “unilaterally” cut out parts of the papers was “most regrettable” in addition to he had been too slow to Discharge them to MPs.

Labour claimed Mr Davis was in contempt for creating misleading statements in addition to trying to block the papers’ Discharge.

  • Brexit impact assessments ‘don’t exist’

Mr Davis released an 850-page dossier of information outlining the economic impact of Brexit on 58 different sectors of the economy to MPs – although not the public – after a binding vote within the Commons last month.

although he faced criticism after an appearance before the Exiting the EU committee in which he had admitted his department had carried out no formal impact assessments, despite previous statements Labour said had suggested otherwise.

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Media captionDavid Davis told the committee the impact assessments didn’t exist

Mr Bercow said: “Ministers could, with advantage, have been considerably clearer in their statements – particularly in challenging lines of questioning in select committees which were based upon a genuine misconception.”

although he said the test for contempt had not been met.

Some MPs also wanted Mr Davis reprimanded for contempt over claims he had dragged his feet over the publication of the reports after Parliament had ordered him to do so on 1 November.

The Speaker said: “While the idea was most regrettable the Secretary of State – a point I made to him privately, I right now state publicly – unilaterally excised some material through the papers which he provided, in addition to which the idea took so long to provide the papers, I also feel bound to pay due attention to the formerly recorded view of the (Exiting the European Union Select Committee) which the Secretary of State had complied with the order of November 1.”

A secure reading room has been established to allow MPs in addition to peers to read the impact statements – although Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston said they should be released to the public.

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Conservative Party

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Sarah Wollaston booked an appointment within the Brexit papers secure reading room

“I recently booked an appointment within the reading room in addition to I thought the idea’d be like an inner circle of hell, which I’d be trapped in there for days to read the sector analysis,” the chairwoman of the health committee told MPs.

“In fact, there are only nine pages on health in addition to social care in addition to the entire documents relevant to my select committee took me less than an hour to read.

“I do feel, within the interests of transparency, these are very straightforward documents in addition to they should be within the public domain.”

The government has argued which the documents contain information which could undermine Britain’s negotiating position in Brussels.

Brexit minister Robin Walker told MPs some them could be “of certainly great interest” to the EU.

Mr Davis was also accused of patronising an MP, during Brexit questions within the Commons, after he suggested she should ask for a dictionary as a Christmas present.

Labour’s Rupa Huq asked Mr Davis: “What can be the difference between an impact assessment in addition to a sectoral analysis?”

Mr Davis, in his reply, said: “She perhaps ought to put in her Christmas list for a dictionary.”

Labour’s Mary Creagh could be heard saying: “Patronising.”

Mr Davis went on to explain what he saw as the difference between the two terms.

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