If parts of the Brexit impact assessments published yesterday read a lot like they’d been lifted from the internet, that’s because they had been – and we can prove it.
We reported yesterday on the embarrassing simplicity of the documents David Davis once described as “excruciating detailed”.
MPs and campaigners suggested there could only be one explanation – parts of the reports had been plagarised from Wikipedia:
I see ministers have published their Brexit impact assessments. Looks to me like they've just printed off Wikipedia pages on bits of the economy. I know it's the end of term, but we can do better than this.
— Frances O'Grady (@FrancesOGrady) December 21, 2017
If any of my followers have access to academic plagiarism software to compare the Government’s Brexit impact studies to Wikipedia please do email me..
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) December 21, 2017
Suspicions were raised by the inclusion of blindingly obvious observations such as: “Free-trade Agreements (FTA) are agreements between states…”
Now those suspicions have been proved correct.
Scrapbook has found evidence that at least one passage in the reports also appears on Wikipedia.
After we published our story on the reports yesterday, a reader ran one of the documents through anti-plagiarism software and sent us the results.
It flagged up this passage from the report on ‘Oil and Fossil Fuel Production’:
Now compare and contrast that with this entry on Wikipedia about free trade areas:
It appears Brexit negotiations are being run by a first year undergraduate student…