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Labour MPs urge UK Government to release confidential studies on Brexit impact

File photo dated 02/07/16 of a European Union flag in front of Big Ben, as would-be rebel Tory MPs have been warned by Theresa May that they will be going against the democratic will of the British people if they side with the opposition to put constraints on the Government in the Brexit Bill. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday February 7, 2017. The Prime Minister said the House of Commons has already clearly voted in support of the EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, which will allow her to trigger Article 50 to begin the formal exit process. See PA story POLITICS Brexit. Photo credit should read: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

The UK Government is facing new calls to release confidential studies drawn up by officials looking at the potential impact of Brexit on the economy.

Twenty-five Labour MPs have written to Chancellor Philip Hammond calling on him to release the material after he disclosed the work was being carried out during a recent session of the Commons Treasury Committee.

Mr Hammond told the hearing earlier this month that officials had "modelled and analysed a wide range of potential alternative structures between the European Union and the United Kingdom".

He said that the work "informs our negotiating position" in the Brexit talks.

In their letter released to The Guardian, Labour supporters of the Open Britain group, which campaigns for a "soft" Brexit, said the information was essential if Parliament was to hold the Government to account effectively.

"The public have a right to know what the impact of Brexit will be for them and for their families," they said.

"Without access to the latest taxpayer-funded analysis and research, Parliament will be hamstrung in its ability to scrutinise the Government's approach and to present the facts to our constituents."

"It is vital that light is shed on the modelling and analysis that the Treasury has carried out. The best way to achieve that would be for the analysis to be published in its entirety."

Signatories to the letter include Chris Leslie, Maria Eagle, Stella Creasy and Alison McGovern.

The latest attempt to prise information from the Government comes after Brexit Secretary David Davis came under pressure from MPs over the release of a series of 58 "sectoral analyses" conducted by the Department for Exiting the EU looking at various elements for the economy.

He was widely criticised for only publishing the information in a heavily edited form and avoided a charge of contempt of Parliament only after convincing MPs the documents had never existed in the form demanded by MPs in a binding Commons motion.

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