The public agrees – we can’t be kept in the dark

Avaaz, to whom I am grateful, commissioned ICM to ask the following:

“The government has undertaken studies about the impact of Brexit on the UK on a range of areas from food prices to ensuring the NHS has enough nurses, but has said that they will not publish the results. Do you think that the government should or should not make the results of these studies publicly available?”

They have given me permission to publish the answer.


83% of the public (sample of 2,057) say the government should make the studies public; 9% say should not and 8% don’t know.

The full polling can be read here.

These studies cover the entirety of the traded economy. What the polling shows is that as a country we are united in wanting the Government to tell us what it knows about what Brexit means for us. Although Government has now said that “information will be forthcoming,” concerns remain about when it will be forthcoming – and what will be forthcoming.

But the public agrees – we can’t be kept in the dark.

Separately, the Good Law Project which I direct and Molly Scott Cato, MEP, have written to DExEU threatening to sue unless Government releases both (1) the secret Brexit studies prepared by DExEU and (2) an unpublished Treasury analysis comparing the economic benefits of future FTAs with the economic cost of leaving the customs union (described by Charles Grant here).

We will be making an announcement on Monday as to what steps we will take in that litigation following the Government’s announcement.

8 thoughts on “The public agrees – we can’t be kept in the dark

  1. Jessica Simor QC has recently submitted an FoI request to the Prime Minister for disclosure of the legal advice which the Government has been given on whether or not the Article 50 TEU notification could be withdrawn before the 29th March, 2019.

    However, notwithstanding that, can the Judicial Review Proceedings already commenced by Molly Scott Cato MEP and the Good Law Project referred to above and which are based on the Supreme Court’s decision in Kennedy v Charity Commission [2014] UKSC 20 and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights/the Human Rights Act 1998 be amended to include disclosure of that legal advice?

  2. Pingback: The public agrees – we can’t be kept in the dark | Waiting for Godot – leftwingnobody

  3. I’m fairly convinced the reason they are not being released is that they are a very shoddy risk assessment that wouldn’t stand up to scrutiny. I’m not sure what’s more worrying, not realising because it shows bad outcomes or not releasing because the quality of thinkingis so poor?

  4. Are you able to post the response to the letter to DExEU and HM Treasury?

  5. I think we are planning to post both the letter and our response later today.

  6. Pingback: Brexit: Can Article 50 be revoked? The author of the clause says yes, legal experts are unsure — Quartz

  7. A few days ago we were told that the impact studies will be published with three weeks.
    That makes Tuesday, 28 November as the final deadline.

  8. I cannot understand why the Government does not just publish. All we are talking about is the prognostications of “experts”…..whose ruthlessly objective forecasting track record over the last ten years has of course been so good.

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