Downing Street will disclose a “position statement” as opposed to the “final and full advice” ministers received. The news comes amid dwindling support for Mrs May’s deal in the Commons, as scores of MPs threaten to vote it down. The refusal to release the legal advice is because it could expose the reality of the UK being stuck in the customs union, Brexiteer MPs have claimed.
Tory Brexiteer MP, Peter Bone, claimed not releasing details of the full legal advice was “dangerous”, implying the Prime Minister had something to hide.
He told the Daily Telegraph: “People will naturally think the legal advice doesn’t support their case and that’s why they don’t want to publish it.
“It’s a very dangerous precedent for the executive to defy Parliament.
“Maybe they’re trying to delay publishing it until after the vote but that would be an outrage.”
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No10 has been accused of “ignoring” Parliament after it voted on the issue two weeks ago.
The Government was supposed to publish the documents next week but fears they could incite civil war within the already precarious Cabinet meant they have been held back.
Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer said: “If ministers continue to dig in, then Labour will use all the mechanisms available to force this information to be published.”
And Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the ERG group of Conservative Brexiteers, said: “This is a very serious matter.
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“If the Government did not want to publish the advice it should have opposed the vote, not abstained.
“You can’t allow a vote to pass unopposed and then say later ‘yah, boo, sucks we’re ignoring it’.”
Treasury economic analysis on Brexit will be released regardless of the legal advice not being published, prompting accusations of the Government reigniting Project Fear.
The figures will show economic predictions for several Breit scenarios, from Mrs May’s deal to the so-called no-deal outcome, which would see the UK trade under WTO rules.
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Under the no-deal Brexit outcome the Treasury will contend the UK’s GDP will be 7.6 lower than if it had remained in the EU.
The Treasury report is also expected to show a no-deal Brexit will come at an eye-watering £150billion, with the proposed Brexit deal costing £40billion.
Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab dubbed the revelations a “rehash of Project Fear”, railing against the so-called forecasts for scaring people “witless into deferring to the Government”.
He said: “There is an economic credibility gap with all these Treasury-led forecasts, based on their track record of failure, the questionable assumptions they rely on, and the inherent challenge of making reliable long-term forecasts.
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Mr Rees-Mogg is a senior member of the pro-Brexit ERG group
“Politically, it looks like a rehash of Project Fear.
“People expect to be inspired, not scared witless into deferring to the Government.
“Whenever Whitehall make forecasts for leaving the EU on WTO terms, it’s always the same.
“They rely on the most pessimistic assumptions, and airbrush out the opportunities of leaving with full regulatory control and the ability to strike free trade deals around the world.”
Downing Street said the work was an “analysis” rather than an official forecast.