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Government must publish its Brexit analysis in full and without delay, MPs say

The Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee questioned why businesses’ views on leaving the EU are too controversial to be published.

A parliamentary committee has urged the Government to publish in full and “without delay” its analysis of Brexit’s impact on different industries.

The Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee said it was in the public interest for the views of different economic sectors on the impact of Brexit to be published.

Reports compiled by the Government on 39 different economic sectors were published by the Exiting the EU committee last month.

However, the “sector views” section was redacted following the committee’s consultations with Brexit Secretary David Davis about not releasing commercially, market or negotiation-sensitive information.

Mr Davis was fiercely criticised when the reports were published, with complaints they displayed a lack of analysis and contained information that “could be found on Wikipedia”.

The DCMS committee said it could not understand why setting out the views of business and industry “should be so controversial” and called on the reports to be published in full.

The call came in a report on Brexit in which the MPs warned the “overwhelming” message from creative and tourism industries was that they want free movement to continue after Britain’s exit from the EU so they can retain access to talent.

The MPs urged the Government to provide reliable data on the sectors’ workforce and potential skills gaps, and clarity on proposed post-Brexit immigration rules to allow firms to prepare.

Their report also warned of “particular uncertainty” over potential price hikes for British mobile phone customers using data in EU countries and urged ministers to be “open and honest” about potential roaming charges, which were capped by Brussels.

The committee highlighted “profound uncertainty” about EU “country of origin” rules which allow TV companies to broadcast from the UK across the continent, with 2,200 Europe-wide channels licensed by Ofcom.

The Government must, as an “urgent priority”, state its negotiating position on the rules and set out a contingency plan if they cease to apply after Brexit, the MPs said.

The success of the tourism industry is closely linked to having access to the single aviation market and it is “important” the Government sets out progress on negotiations in the area, the committee said.

The sector must also be reassured that contingency plans for a “no deal” Brexit are being made, the report said.

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