Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan has refused to give evidence on Brexit to the Foreign Affairs Committee, stating that the Government ‘not currently in a position’ to do so.
The Committee reacted angrily to blunt’s words, pointing out that it’s highly possible that the two-year Article 50 negotiation period for Brexit could lapse without an agreement being formed.
In a letter to Committee Chair Crispin Blunt, Duncan wrote:
“[Her Majesty’s Government]’s efforts will be focused on getting the best deal possible for the UK in the Article 50 negotiations with the EU. Since those negotiations are not yet underway, the Government is not currently in a position to provide written evidence to the Committee.
“I hope you appreciate our position and that this is not in any way meant to show any lack of respect for the Committee.”
Blunt shot back, replying:
“If the Government did no preparatory work for the eventuality we are examining, it would be at least as negligent as Mr Cameron’s Government.
“It is hard to believe, however, that the Government is not considering the legal and technical issues and consequences of leaving the EU with no withdrawal agreement in place.
“The Government owes its analysis not just to Parliament, but to the wider public: there is a strong public interest in reducing uncertainty as far as possible, not least for businesses making investment decisions in the UK.”