Cost of no deal brexit to individual EU member states

Robert Davidson made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Department for Exiting the European Union

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

Dear Department for Exiting the European Union,

In the Sunday Times today, it is reported that Steve Baker commissioned work to discover the cost to each EU member state, including the EU

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/dont-...

I request that you release this commissioned research under freedom of information provisions.

Primarily, I request that you release the total cost figures for all 28 EU member states. This is the key information that I wish be made public. I would appreciate it if you would also make the full research report or reports public so that research methods and any other relevant information be released alongside the final cost figures.

Yours faithfully,

Robert Davidson

DEXEU Freedom of Information Team Mailbox, Department for Exiting the European Union

Dear Robert Davidson,
Thank you for your FOI request, reference DEX001356. We will now respond
in line with the Freedom of Information Act.
Kind regards, 
DExEU FOI Team

Freedom of Information Team

9 Downing Street | London | SW1A 2AG
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E: [2][DEEU request email]  

You can follow DExEU on Twitter: @DExEUgov

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

DEXEU Freedom of Information Team Mailbox, Department for Exiting the European Union

1 Atodiad

Dear Robert Davidson,
Please find attached a letter in relation to your request, reference
DEX001356.
Kind regards, 
DExEU FOI Team

Freedom of Information Team

9 Downing Street | London | SW1A 2AG
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E: [2][DEEU request email]  

You can follow DExEU on Twitter: @DExEUgov

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Robert Davidson

Dear DEXEU Freedom of Information Team Mailbox,

Thank you for your response to my request for specific information held by DExEU.

In your response you effectively state that you don't need to make a decision, ever.

I find this entirely unacceptable and now request a formal review of your decision and on the issue of releasing the figures that I have requested.

As additional information to aid the review, here is a quote from the article published in the Times those many weeks ago, which prompted me to submit my request.

“It found that the cost to the EU in the event of no deal was far greater than the cost to the UK, but the cost to no single country was greater than to us.”

From this quote, it is public knowledge what is contained in the data I request and which you admit to holding. The information - that the whole EU suffers more than the UK but no individual EU member suffers as much as the UK - has been common knowledge for a good deal of time.

Indeed, the basic premise for this situation was made public by the government in the paper "EU Exit Analysis - Cross Whitehall Briefing (where on page 24 it is clear that the UK is more exposed to 'other EU' than any EU member is exposed to trade with the UK):
https://www.parliament.uk/documents/comm...

As such, I cannot believe that it places the government's policy making process or the UK's relationship with other governments in any jeopardy to have the detail added to this public knowledge. The EU knows the information already, the UK knows the information already - all that is missing is the exact figures.

Please pass this on to your review team or release the information as requested.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Davidson

DEXEU Freedom of Information Team Mailbox, Department for Exiting the European Union

Dear Mr Davidson,
Thank you for your email in which you have requested an internal review.
It will not be possible to conduct an internal review at this time as a
response to your request for information under the FoIA has not been
issued.  As our letter to you of 24 August 2018 stated, we have not yet
reached a decision on whether the balance of the public interest lies in
favour of, or against disclosure of the information which is relevant to
your request.  That matter is still under consideration.
It is anticipated that a response to your request will be issued within 20
working days of 24 August 2018.  This is compliant with the ICO's
[1]guidance, Time limits for compliance under the Freedom of Information
Act (in particular, paragraph 62 of that guidance).
Kind regards,
FOI Team,
DExEU

Freedom of Information Team

9 Downing Street | London | SW1A 2AG
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E: [3][DEEU request email]  

You can follow DExEU on Twitter: @DExEUgov

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DEXEU Freedom of Information Team Mailbox, Department for Exiting the European Union

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Davidson,
Thank you for your FOI request, reference DEX001356. Please find our
attached response.
Kind regards, 
DExEU FOI Team

Freedom of Information Team

9 Downing Street | London | SW1A 2AG
[1]DfEEU_CYAN_SML_AW.png
E: [2][DEEU request email]  

You can follow DExEU on Twitter: @DExEUgov

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Robert Davidson

Dear DEXEU Freedom of Information Team Mailbox,

It will come as no surprise that I wish an internal review of this delayed decision.

As per my previous request for review, I would like the review officer to specifically consider that the nature or gist of the requested information is already public knowledge - in the Times article (see my original request email), it was clearly stated that the cost of Brexit to any EU27 member country is less than that to the UK but, that the total cost to the EU27 is greater than the cost to the UK.

As the overall outcome of the government research is public knowledge already, it cannot harm the UK's relations with other countries to provide the underlying figures.

The progress of the Brexit situation is very much in the public interest. No issue is more in the public interest than this one.

It has been in the public interest to ensure smooth negotiations and that has required some secrecy but, with the negotiations floundering and a crashout 'no deal' becoming more likely, the public interest in releasing information has increased.

A majority of the public now would choose a different path compared with the result of the referendum over 2 years ago - https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/po...

Major institutions like the trade unions (https://www.independent.co.uk/final-say/...) and Her Majesty's Opposition (Most Labour members support new referendum: https://labourlist.org/2018/01/labour-me... ; and Keir Starmer on Labour potentially backing a new referendum: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/po...) are turning towards supporting a more public intervention in the Brexit process. As such, it is no longer in the public interest to keep details of Brexit predictions and research secret from the public.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Davidson

DEXEU Freedom of Information Team Mailbox, Department for Exiting the European Union

Dear Robert Davidson, 
This email confirms that we have received your internal review request on
FOI DEX1356. The Department will now conduct an internal review and will
contact you once this has been concluded.
Kind regards, 
DExEU FOI team

Freedom of Information Team

9 Downing Street | London | SW1A 2AG
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E: [2][DEEU request email]  

You can follow DExEU on Twitter: @DExEUgov

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Dear DEXEU Freedom of Information Team Mailbox,

To my understanding, while there is no legal deadline for the FOI internal review process, the Information Commissioner's Office recommends a turnaround of 20 working days.

You acknowledged my request for an internal review on 17th September and it is now 9th November. That is roughly 40 working days i.e. double the time suggested by the Information Commissioner.

Please respond with explanation for your delay in this matter.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Davidson

DEXEU Freedom of Information Team Mailbox, Department for Exiting the European Union

Dear Robert Davidson, 

Thank you for your email regarding your FOI internal review request
DEX001356. I am writing to let you know that we are still processing this
case. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

We hope to issue our response to you as soon as possible.

Kind regards, 
DExEU FOI Team

Freedom of Information Team

9 Downing Street | London | SW1A 2AG
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E: [2][DEEU request email]  

You can follow DExEU on Twitter: @DExEUgov

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Dear DEXEU Freedom of Information Team Mailbox,

As extra information to pass to your internal review team, I submit this article regarding a judgement by the EU Ombudsman, who has decided that a Brexit impact assessment on North-South cooperation between Irelands should be released despite it being sensitive.

https://www.rte.ie/news/brexit/2018/1119...

I remind you and the internal review team that this review has taken well over double the length of time recommended in the ICO's guidelines. You really must produce an answer without delay.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Davidson

Gadawodd Robert Davidson anodiad ()

Having complained to the Information Commissioner on 9th November about this delay, they have today (20th November) written to DExEU to say,

"in no case should the total time taken exceed 40 working days"

and to recommend,

"that you [issue an internal review decision] within 10 working days from the date of receipt of this letter."

The Information Commissioner says that they prefer to let the internal complaint/review process complete before taking any further action.

DEXEU Freedom of Information Team Mailbox, Department for Exiting the European Union

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Davidson,
Please see attached a response to your request for an Internal Review. 
Regards
DExEU FOI Team

Freedom of Information Team

9 Downing Street | London | SW1A 2AG
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E: [2][DEEU request email]  

You can follow DExEU on Twitter: @DExEUgov

References

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