Committee of MPs calls on government to be more ‘transparent’ on Brexit negotiations

PUBLISHED: 10:18 06 May 2020 | UPDATED: 10:18 06 May 2020

Michel Barnier, EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Boris Johnson and former Brexit secretary Steve Barclay. Photograph: PA.

Michel Barnier, EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Boris Johnson and former Brexit secretary Steve Barclay. Photograph: PA.

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A Commons committee has called on the government to be more “transparent” about its Brexit negotiations with the EU as a matter of “national interest”.

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The European Security Committee urged senior ministers to show “the fullest possible transparency” with parliament, adding that “regular progress reports” were in the interest of the nation.

They said that an “openness” and “engagement” with parliament will help protect those “whose interests will be affected by the outcome of negotiations” in a report published on Wednesday.

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“The motion we propose for debate... urges the government to provide updates to parliament on stakeholder contributions... and to address concerns raised by the European Scrutiny and other Select Committees on aspects of the EU negotiating mandate which raise matters of vital national interest,” it said.

They argue that while UK remains tied to EU laws and policies during the transition period, parliament should be able to access negotiation updates.

The report said that increased parliamentary scrutiny was “imperative” because decisions often taken place “behind closed doors... and there is no public transcript to explain the reasons for its decisions”.

The report outlined several “national interest” concerns, including the jurisdiction of the EU Court of Justice, ease of trade and the “cross-border sharing of data” once the transition is complete.

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