Response to statement by the Speaker on alleged contempt of Parliament

Responding to today’s statement by the Speaker on David Davis' alleged contempt of Parliament, Bronwen Maddox, Director at the Institute for Government, said: 

"The Speaker has found the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, David Davis, not to be in contempt of Parliament. However, the Government has shown contempt for the principle of making decisions based on thorough evidence and analysis."

"David Davis said to the Commons Committee on Exiting the EU that the Government had not undertaken formal impact assessments of Brexit. This not only appeared to contradict previous ministerial assertions but also showed a disregard for the principle of making decisions based on thorough evidence and analysis."

"This is no way to approach such a profound change in the UK’s relationship with close trading partners and allies. Brexit will affect businesses and the UK economy more than any other decision made by government in recent years. To forge ahead and enter negotiations with the EU without the benefit of extensive analysis of the potential risks, costs and benefits is reckless."

"Ministers should base their views of the UK’s future relationship with the EU on proper analysis of the likely impact on the UK economy by sector and region. So should Parliament, businesses and the public. Keeping them in the dark does nothing for the quality of public understanding and debate, for the ability of businesses and individuals to make plans, or for trust in government."