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David Allen Green
The prehistory of those 58 Brexit sector analyses A thread to introduce a detailed post at /1
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David Allen Green Nov 27
Replying to @CommonsEUexit
Much of the commentary about those 58 sector analyses (which have been released in some form to the ) says that the reports were first mentioned in December 2016. But... /2
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David Allen Green Nov 27
Replying to @JackofKent
...the analyses were kicking about before then, and their "pre-history" is revealing about UK's preparations for Brexit. This thread will take the prehistory and early history of the analyses to June 2017, before linking to a detailed post at . /3
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David Allen Green Nov 27
Replying to @JackofKent
The analyses are first referred to in July 2016, in evidence taken shortly after the referendum. By September, new Brexit secretary David Davis refers to about "50 cross-cutting sectors". The "50-something" figure is established quite early. /4
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David Allen Green Nov 27
Replying to @JackofKent
Also back in September 2016, Davis is bullishly confident the 50 analyses will be completed *before" Article 50 is triggered. /5
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David Allen Green Nov 27
Replying to @JackofKent
Davis tells a Commons committee: "Because of the way the process is staged—data gathering at this stage, engagement at this stage, analysis later, policy design later after that, and so on—I don’t think we are going to have a problem [before A50]." (Hmm.) /6
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David Allen Green Nov 27
Replying to @davidallengreen
The next month, another Brexit minister is again confident that they will be done pre-A50: "We are analysing over 50 sectors...so that we can establish what we consider to be the best possible terms for departure. That, of course, will inform our negotiation once it starts." /7
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David Allen Green Nov 27
Replying to @davidallengreen
Also in October 2016, a third Brexit minister tells the Lords that the analyses are in a manageable format: "It is an attempt to try to get this into a manageable format so that we can analyse what Brexit might mean for those particular sectors. " /8
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David Allen Green Nov 27
Replying to @davidallengreen
By early December 2016, the analyses had become "extensive", with Davis telling the Commons: "...we are carrying out an extensive programme of sectoral analysis on the key factors that affect our negotiations with the European Union". /9
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David Allen Green Nov 27
Replying to @davidallengreen
Davis then again asserts that all the analysis will be in place before the Article 50 notification: "This is a single-shot negotiation, so we must get it right, and we will get it right by doing the analysis first and the notification second. I will do that." /10
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David Allen Green Nov 27
Replying to @davidallengreen
Just to emphasise, in December 2016, Davis said: "we will get it right by doing the analysis first and the notification second" The analysis was to be complete before A50 notification. "single-shot" /11
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David Allen Green Nov 27
Replying to @davidallengreen
Also in December 2016 we learn there are 57 analyses, that they include analyses of both regional and national data, and that they cover 85% of the economy. /12
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David Allen Green Nov 27
Replying to @davidallengreen
The government adds text to the Commons motion on A50: "confirms that there should be no disclosure of material that could be reasonably judged to damage the UK in any negotiations to depart from the European Union after Article 50 has been triggered". /13
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David Allen Green Nov 27
Replying to @davidallengreen
The Labour front bench nod-along with the A50 motion. The government then uses that motion as a pretext not to disclose any information. The government appoints itself the "reasonable judge" on disclosure. /14
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David Allen Green Nov 27
Replying to @davidallengreen
By January 2017, the government is regularly bigging up the analyses. In Commons questions, ministers routinely cite the analyses as meeting MPs' concerns. /15
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David Allen Green Nov 27
Replying to @davidallengreen
The analyses are now described as "wide", "extensive" and "thorough". In February 2017, the Brexit White Paper refers to the the analyses which will "shape our negotiating position." On 29 March 2017, Article 50 is triggered. /16
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David Allen Green Nov 27
Replying to @davidallengreen
Days before the A50 notification, a Brexit minister says DExEU is: "engaging with over 50 separate sectors of the economy, many of which have cross-cutting issues that need to be addressed, to ensure we are in a position to plan for whatever may eventually take place." /17
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David Allen Green Nov 27
Replying to @davidallengreen
In April 2017, a Brexit minister is referring to the analyses in the past tense: "The Department has carried out an in-depth assessment right across 50 sectors of the economy. " /18
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David Allen Green Nov 27
Replying to @davidallengreen
The past tense is also used in May 2017 in a parliamentary answer, so that presumably was not a slip: "DExEU has conducted analysis of over 50 sectors of the economy" /19
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David Allen Green Nov 27
Replying to @davidallengreen
And then in June 2017, when the first substantive requests come in for disclosure of the analyses, there is a (subtle) shift. The analyses (which were to be completed before the A50 notification) are now "ongoing". /20
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