MEP and QC begin legal proceedings to release Brexit studies

Lawyers representing Molly and Jolyon Maugham of the Good Law Project have written again to David Davis and Philip Hammond giving them 14 days to release in full government studies into the economic impacts of Brexit. If they refuse to make the documents publicly available, they will start judicial review proceedings in the High Court.

The letter points to the fact that, following a Labour motion which pressed the government into agreeing to release the documents to a government committee, recent government statements ‘leaves it wholly uncertain what information will be made public, and when’.

Molly and Jolyon Maugham QC are demanding that 58 sectoral impact studies be released as well as a Treasury report comparing the predicted economic impacts of Brexit with potential benefits of alternative free trade agreements. They say the information must be made publicly available in its entirety without redaction. 

Molly said:

‘We cannot accept further attempts by the Chancellor and Brexit Minister to conceal the economic impacts of Brexit from the public. We do not accept their argument that the 58 sector studies could weaken the UK’s negotiating position. This is clear from the fact that several other EU member states and the Commission have already released comparable information into the public domain. We consider the Chancellor’s refusal to confirm or deny that the HM Treasury report is held to be irrational, evasive, and absurd, given that the report has been referred to repeatedly in the media.’

Jo Maugham QC of the Good Law Project said:

“The Government’s desperate desire to hide the reality of Brexit from its own people will not work. Our old fashioned, home grown common law gives us the right to see these documents – not just whatever’s left after a Minister, desperate for secrecy, has gone at them with a thick black marker pen.”

In the letter to DExEU and the Treasury the lawyers representing Dr Scott Cato and Mr Maugham acknowledge the parliamentary motion requiring release of the documents and will take into account any further relevant developments – including any public disclosure of information falling within the scope of the request – before deciding what documents to demand in the High Court action.


See the thread of correspondence relating to this case here.