'Government will release leaked negative Brexit impact analysis if MPs demand it'

Updated: 

Leaked Government documents which indicate that any outcome from Brexit would be negative for the UK economy will be released if the Commons insists on it, Downing Street has said.

The move is in stark contrast to comments made en route to China by Prime Minister Theresa May, who said that making the analysis public before it was fully completed would be "wrong".

The climbdown came as the Government faced possible defeat over an opposition "humble address" motion calling for the documents to be released.

Downing Street also said that Justice Minister Phillip Lee had been called in by the chief whip after he tweeted that if the figures in the leaked assessment are "anywhere near right", there should be a "serious question" about the Government's approach to Brexit.

Justice Minister Phillip Lee was called in by the chief whip regarding his comments on the leaked document(Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament/(Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)/PA)
Justice Minister Phillip Lee was called in by the chief whip (Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament/PA)

Mr Lee was told not to air such views in public in future.

Pressed on whether Mrs May was wrong to state that the documents should not be released, a Government spokesman told a Westminster briefing: "No, because the analysis that is requested by this humble address is incomplete and that is what we have said.

"This was produced without ministerial sign-off and has been leaked, and therefore is incomplete."

Downing Street said the partial analysis had not modelled Mrs May's preferred outcome of a bespoke deal with the EU.

Number 10 said the Tories would not take part in the vote on the humble address motion.