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Brexit: Secretary of State Alok Sharma refuses to appear before Business Committee

1 December 2020

Darren Jones, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee has written to Alok Sharma to express “deep regret” at the Secretary of State’s refusal to attend a BEIS Committee evidence hearing examining business preparedness for Brexit on Tuesday 8 December.

Chair's comments

The Chair said:

“It is a very poor show when a Secretary of State for Business dodges Select Committee scrutiny on an issue as important as business preparedness for Brexit.

“It sends a dismal signal to British business that their Secretary of State isn’t even willing to discuss what his Department are doing to support businesses as they face unprecedented challenges in dealing with the impact of covid 19 and in preparing for the end of the transition period.

“While Britain’s businesses hope that a Brexit deal will be reached, companies across sectors including automotive, manufacturing, retail and financial services, and many others will face disruption from 1 January.

“Even at this eleventh hour, it is vital that everything possible is being done to advise and support businesses as they prepare for the end of the transition period.

"Scrutiny of the Government’s efforts is crucial to help ensure this support is as effective and targeted as possible.

"I hope the Secretary of State will reconsider and recognise the importance of these issues by appearing at the BEIS Committee evidence hearing on Brexit preparedness on 8 December”.

Evidence hearing on Brexit preparedness

Witness details for the session on Tuesday 8 December will be confirmed shortly but are likely to include businesses and representative business groups from the food and drink sector, financial and related professional services, and the automotive industry.

Further information

Images: Parliamentary copyright