Politics

‘UNDERMINING’ Britain’s hand: Labour’s attempt to trip up Brexit negotiations BLOCKED

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The MP, who resigned from her party’s frontbench over Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, requested information regarding the economic impact on 58 industries after Brexit.

But her freedom of information (FOI) request was rejected by the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU), who said revealing such information would "undermine" the nation’s preparation of policy.

A DExEU spokesman said: “There is a strong public interest in policymaking associated with our exit from the EU being of the highest quality and conducted in a safe place to allow for design and deliberation to be done in private.”

The department’s refusal comes after Ms Malhotra demanded a list of 58 sectors covering 88 per cent of the economy. Officials have been looking into how Brexit will impact on each of them.

Seema Malhotra.

Seema Malhotra requested information using an FOI request

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Brexit .

The DExEU refused to give details on the economic impacts after Brexit

There is a strong public interest in policymaking associated with our exit from the EU being of the highest quality and conducted in a safe place to allow for design and deliberation to be done in private

DExEU spokesman

Although the list, covering industry including aerospace, oil, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, corporate banking, retail and tourism, was published by DExEU on Monday, Ms Malhotra requested further details.

She wanted details about the scope and terms of reference for each sectoral analysis and which reports had been completed.

Labour's Ms Malhotra also demanded to know which reports had been commissioned externally.

But DExEU refused to release the information saying it was exempt under Section 20 of the 2000 Freedom of Information Act.

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They said they would release the information in an “organised and efficient manner” rather than a FOI request.

But Ms Malhotra hit back telling the Financial Times: “The government’s reference to needing to conduct Brexit policymaking in a ‘safe place to allow for design and deliberation to be done in private’ seems to be more about keeping parliament and the public in the dark.”

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