Molly has stepped up her efforts to obtain details of the government’s so called Brexit impact studies. Following a failed application to force disclosure through Judicial Review and consistent refusal by the government to release the information through Freedom of Information requests, she has now written to the Information Commissioner. Molly has asked the Commissioner, Ms Denham, whether she believes the impact studies should be available in their entirety and whether she is prepared to take action to expedite the many FoI requests relating to the studies.
In the letter, Molly says: ‘We have had concealment, dissembling, release of partial information and leaks. We have also seen leading politicians – including government ministers – deliberately undermining this objective information. This has left the public and democratic representatives unclear about the evidence against which they can form judgements about Brexit.’
Molly recently visited the reading room where she read the so-called cross Whitehall briefing. She said:
“The information provided by the government is a summary and cannot be independently evaluated. As an economist I want to know about the modelling that lies behind the assumptions. This hasn’t been made available, so the information that has been released fails to stand up to analytical scrutiny. It is totally unacceptable that my constituents and the businesses in the region I represent have to plan for the future based on a piece of work that struggles even to meet A level standard.
“Whilst we can safely assume that leaving the EU would be disastrous for the UK economy under any Brexit scenario, the only way we can have a fully informed and democratic debate about this is when information is fully disclosed together with details of the modelling underpinning it.
“It is time for the Information Commissioner to restore the authority of her office by expediting the many FoI requests relating to the Brexit impact studies submitted by myself and others.”