The Wednesday that was. ‘Remember, remember the 1st November’ might be the new chant for Remain campaigners, on the back of a significant debate and unopposed vote that took place in the House of Commons yesterday.
Sir Keir Starmer, KCB, QC and Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, tabled an Opposition Day Motion that came right out of the Jacob Rees-Mogg playbook (i.e. one written a few hundred years ago), that even seemed to earn the respect of that ‘Right Honourable Gentleman’ for North East Somerset.
Sir Keir took the floor and tabled that a ‘humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, that she will be graciously pleased to give directions that the list of sectors analysed under the instruction of Her Majesty’s Ministers, and referred to in the Answer of 26 June 2017 to Question 239, be laid before this House and that the impact assessments arising from those analyses be provided to the Committee on Exiting the European Union’. (You can read more here – http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-8128
What this means is that HRH, The Queen, will now be asked to instruct the Government to release the Brexit Reports – exactly what we’ve been fighting for with our Let There Be Light campaign. Thanks to the support of Conservative MPs in the House during the debate – among them Anna Soubry, Dr Sarah Wollaston and Jacob Rees-Mogg – and that of MPs (and members of the public) who’ve backed our campaign and David Lammy and Seema Malhotra’s open letter, the motion was passed unopposed by the Government, making even a vote unnecessary in the end.
You can read the full debate transcript here (it’s a doozie!) – https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2017-11-01/debates/62139AE8-AA75-42F7-85D3-BB50087ACEFB/ExitingTheEUSectoralImpactAssessments#contribution-2D9800D0-D527-44DE-8CAF-1597A6B2F854
The Government now have 12 weeks to act, with Chris Heaton-Harris MP, being responsible for bringing the humble Address to royal attention.
So what’s this mean? Well, hopefully this will result in the Brexit Reports being released in some form to the Select Committee for leaving the EU, chaired by Hillary Ben MP. Or maybe to all Select Committee Chairs. This release might involve redactions. It might just be the Summary Outcomes that the Prime Minister has apparently reviewed.
Whatever the Government response, there’s still a way to go, and we still need the backing of the public and of as many MPs as possible to keep up the pressure and ensure the country knows what our impending post-Brexit future looks like and exactly what it will cost.
So, if you haven’t already, please check out our list of MPs backing the call for the reports to be released here – #BREXITREPORTS
And a huge thank you to those who’ve supported the campaign already. You really have made a difference. Here’s to more success to follow!