Petition We call upon the Government to hold a Public Inquiry into the impact of Brexit

The benefits that were promised if the UK exited the European Union have not been delivered, so we call upon the Government to hold a Public Inquiry to assess the impact that Brexit has had on this country and its citizens.

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It is time that the people of this country were told the truth about Brexit, good or bad. We deserve to know how Brexit is impacting on trade, the economy, opportunities for young people and how it has affected the rights of individuals. This can only be done by an independent Public Inquiry, free from ideology and the opinions of vested interests.

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Government responded

This response was given on 5 December 2022

The UK’s departure from the EU was a democratic choice and the UK-EU institutions are functioning as intended. The Government does not believe this to be an appropriate subject for a public inquiry.

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The UK’s departure from the EU is the result of a democratic choice and the UK-EU institutions are functioning as intended. The Government does not believe the UK’s departure from the EU to be an appropriate subject for a public inquiry.

The Government’s policies regarding the UK’s new relationship with the EU are subject to parliamentary scrutiny. Under new scrutiny arrangements, the Government is scrutinised by the European Scrutiny Committee, and the European Affairs Committee and its Sub-Committee on the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland. Both the European Scrutiny Committee and the European Affairs Committee are currently holding inquiries into the new UK-EU relationship.

Ministers regularly appear before Select Committees. The Foreign Secretary most recently appeared before the European Scrutiny Committee on 7 November. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office regularly submit written evidence and respond to correspondence from Select Committees.

Detailed information and statistics for UK-EU trade are regularly published by the Office of National Statistics.

The global economy faces significant headwinds. Since 2020, businesses have had to overcome the COVID pandemic, global supply chain disruptions, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It is challenging to disentangle definitively the impact of these global factors from the long-term effects of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

Both the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) and the Withdrawal Agreement, which established the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, are broadly functioning as intended.

The TCA that was agreed between the UK and EU in 2020 is the world’s largest zero tariffs and zero quotas deal and the first time the EU has ever agreed such access in a free trade agreement. It also affirms the right of both the UK and the EU to determine their own policies, whilst maintaining overall levels of protection for climate and environment standards and workers’ rights. The UK remains committed to being a global leader in these areas.

We are opening new opportunities for UK businesses across the globe. Through our 12-point Export Strategy and new Export Academies, we are giving businesses the tools they need to export around the world and reap the benefits of our new trade deals. The Government has secured free trade agreements with 71 non-EU countries. Total UK trade with these countries was worth £240bn in 2021.

The UK remains an attractive place to invest and grow a business as a low-tax, high-skilled economy. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) measures foreign firms’ investment in the UK. It is a key driver in productivity and innovation. Inward FDI stock increased from $2.2tn to $2.6tn in 2021. The UK has the highest FDI stock in Europe and second highest in the world, only behind the United States, and up from our ranking in 2020 [source: UNCTAD].

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

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