Green MEP to challenge Information Commissioner over ‘doomsday document’ and other Brexit studies

As the government comes under pressure to release papers outlining its emergency planning for a no-deal Brexit, Molly will challenge Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, when she appears before a European Parliament hearing today.

For many months Dr Scott Cato has been using Freedom of Information requests to make public the government’s Brexit impact studies. In March the High Court refused permission for judicial review, applied for by Molly together with Jolyon Maugham QC, and last month she wrote to Ms Denham asking whether she is willing to expedite FoI requests relating to the studies.

Molly said:

“The British people are being kept in the dark over the potential impacts on our economy, society, health and environment that could arise as a result of the no-deal Brexit being pushed by extreme Tory MPs. The revelations about a disturbing scenario of food and medicine shortages if we crash out of the EU without a deal should be part of a fully informed public debate – as should the continuing work to explore the economic impact of a range of Brexit scenarios.

“It is not acceptable to withhold these important studies on Brexit scenarios from the public and it is the Information Commission’s task to enable the public to be as fully informed as possible. That is why Ms Denham’s attendance at today’s hearing is so important and I intend to challenge her in person.

“Today’s European Parliament hearing also comes at a critical moment. Recent revelations show the Leave.EU campaign hired the services of Cambridge Analytica and AggregateIQ to use Facebook as a tool to influence the referendum campaign. This raises crucial questions about manipulation through the internet and the state of our democracy.”

[1] The hearing on the impact of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal on personal data protection will hear from, amongst others, the Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham; Christopher Wylie, the whistleblower at the centre of the scandal; and Carole Cadwalladr, journalist at The Guardian.