David Davis made an astonishing admission this morning about the Brexit impact assessments he once said went into “excruciating detail”.
He told Parliament’s Brexit Select Committee that, well, erm…they don’t actually exist:
Hilary Benn asks, “So the government hasn’t undertaken any impact assessments for the implications on leaving the EU for different sectors of the British economy?” David Davis – No. pic.twitter.com/6j0GMDL0m5
— Robert (@RobDunsmore) December 6, 2017
That’s not quite what he’s told MPs and the public on at least six previous occasions…
September 13, 2016 – Foreign Affairs Select Committee
Asked what the newly formed Department for Exiting the European Union is doing, Davies replies:
“A variety of things. First, there is the sectoral analysis: they are working through about 50 cross-cutting sectors—what is going to happen to them, what the problems of those industrial groups are, and so on.”
October 20, 2016 – House of Commons
Asked what assessment his department has made of Brexit’s impact on the economy, Davis answers:
“We currently have in place an assessment of 51 sectors of the economy. We are looking at those one by one.”
December 1, 2016 – House of Commons
Asked what steps the Government is taking to prepare for the triggering of Article 50, Davis said:
“At home, we are carrying out an extensive programme of sectoral analysis on the key factors that affect our negotiations with the European Union.”
December 14, 2016 – Brexit Select Committee
Asked about the Government’s preparations for Brexit negotiations, Davis said:
“We are in the midst of carrying out about 57 sets of analyses, each of which has implications for individual parts of 85% of the economy.
“…We are taking our time to get prepared on all fronts. That is why our 57 studies cover 85% of the economy—everything except sectors that are not affected by international trade.”
February 2, 2017 – House of Commons
In a statement to the House on the Government’s white paper on Brexit, Davis said:
“We continue to analyse the impact of our exit across the breadth of the UK economy, covering more than 50 sectors —I think it was 58 at the last count—to shape our negotiating position.”
June 25, 2017 – Andrew Marr Show:
“In my job, I don’t think out loud and I don’t make guesses – you try to make decisions. You make those based on the data. That data is being gathered – we’ve got 50, nearly 60, sectoral analysis already done”.
There’s quite a big gap between what Davis has been telling us for the past year and what he said today.
There’s a word for that…