Davis 'could be in contempt' over Brexit redactions

By Aubrey Allegretti, Political Reporter
Brexit Secretary David Davis could be in contempt of Parliament for his handling of dozens of impact assessments on Brexit, Labour has claimed.
Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, said holding some of the information in them back was "very serious" because "bad decisions" are made when "nobody's actually shone the light on them".He was granted an urgent question in the Commons for 12.30pm on Tuesday.The Government was forced to hand over studies on the effect of Britain's EU divorce on 58 sectors after a vote in Parliament earlier this month.Mr Davis gave members of the Commons Brexit select committee a single paper copy - more than 800 pages long - to comply with the midnight deadline on Tuesday.
Davis 'could be in contempt' over Brexit redactions

David Davis handed over a copy of the 800-page document on Monday
But key information was left out, with the Government saying it had satisfied the motion but was withholding some parts deemed market sensitive.The committee will view the document in private, and publish letters between its chair Hilary Benn and Mr Davis.It will also summon the Brexit secretary for a hearing "as a matter as urgency".But Sir Keir warned ministers could be in contempt of Parliament.He told Sky News: "David Davis now seems to have taken things into his own hands, saying 'I'm not going to pass all of the documents over, I'm going to hold some of them so you can't see them.'
"And that is to treat Parliament with contempt because this was debated and voted on."He said Labour had "always accepted" anything that would "genuinely undermine the negotiations" should not be published.
Davis 'could be in contempt' over Brexit redactions

A row has brewed for weeks on the assesments' release
But he added: "In my experience the best decisions in life are the ones that are held up to the light and tested."And the really bad decisions historically are the ones that nobody's actually shone the light on as they're being made."
Davis 'could be in contempt' over Brexit redactions

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Lib Dem Brexit select committee member Wera Hobhouse said: "There is a fine line between what is commercially sensitive and what is simply politically embarrassing for the Government."A spokesperson for DExEU told Sky News: "The Government has satisfied the motion - providing the House of Commons Exiting the EU Committee with information covering 58 sectors of the economy. We have also shared the information with the Lords EU Committee."We have always been clear that our analysis does not exist in the form Parliament requested. We have taken time to bring together the analysis we do have in a way that meets Parliament's specific ask."Contempt of Parliament is when an MP obstructs the Commons carrying out its job - for example by threatening a colleague or giving false evidence to a committee.MPs accused of it can be ordered to appear in the chamber to face a punishment of suspension or expulsion by the Speaker.
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