MEP and QC launch judicial review proceedings against government over Brexit sectoral studies

Molly and Jolyon Maugham QC of the Good Law Project, have today applied for judicial review in the High Court over the government’s refusal to release sectoral studies carried out by DExEU into the impacts of Brexit, and a Treasury study into the effects of leaving the customs union [1]. The application comes a day after Brexit secretary David Davis told the Committee for Leaving the EU that impact studies do not exist. However, for months the government has said sectoral studies do exist and independent experts have asserted specific knowledge of the content of the Treasury study.

Molly said:

“The country has run out of patience with the bluff and bluster of some of our senior Government representatives. We need the cold, clean scalpel of the law to separate fact from fiction and establish exactly what studies have been carried out – and to make them available for us all to see. Mr Davis will now have to explain himself in front of a High Court judge.

“For eight months I have been seeking release of these studies to inform myself and those I represent about the potential impacts of Brexit on our economy. It is frankly astonishing to hear the Brexit secretary now proclaim that these studies, which he has fought so hard to keep hidden from us all, do not in fact exist.

“Withholding information and keeping us all in the dark is a serious dereliction of duty for the man tasked with negotiating a change of such potentially devastating consequences.”

Jolyon Maugham QC added:

“Let him throw his smoke bombs. David Davis can’t escape from one simple principle: a Government of the people should never hide from the people what it plans to do to the people.”

[1] The full list of the documents as filed can be read and downloaded here. They include:

A statement on facts and grounds in support of claim for judicial review

Molly Scott Cato witness statement

Jolyon Maugham QC witness statement