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UK Government ordered to release Brexit impact study on the games industry today

John Bercow

The UK Government has commissioned an investigation into the impact that Brexit will have on the British economy, with the videogames industry named last week as one of the sectors considered. MPs called for the investigation’s release in a unanimous vote last week, and yesterday, the Speaker of the House of Commons ordered the Government to comply by the end of today or explain why they have not.

Speaker John Bercow was responding to a question by the shadow Brexit minister, Matthew Pennycook, on Monday. He said the Government should comply with the vote “very promptly indeed,” or “failing that, I expect ministers to explain to the house before we rise [on Tuesday] why they have not and when they intend to do so.”

According to the Guardian, Commons leader Andrea Leadsom said the Government accepted the vote as binding and that the information would be released, but gave no timescale, and indicated that it would be redacted in the name of the national interest.

Exactly what information the Government is holding is not clear. Pennycook asked his question after the Brexit Secretary, David Davis, wrote to the Brexit select committee saying “it is not the case that 58 sectoral impact assessments exist.”

Rather, the Government’s analysis is “a wide mix of qualitative and quantitative analysis, contained in a range of documents developed at different times since the referendum[…] It is not, nor has it ever been, a series of discrete impact assessments examining the quantitative impact of Brexit on these sectors.”

Given this, Davis says, like Leadsom, that the Government will need time to prepare its information for release, so don’t expect anything substantial by the end of today.

The 58 sectors – which Davis estimates constitute 88% of the UK economy -are named inhis response to a report by Baroness Verma last week, and include videogames.