I can’t stick around for too long, David Davis tells Brexit select committee

Written by Matt Foster on 25 April 2018 in Diary

Watch: The Brexit secretary was given a ticking off by Hillary Benn.

David Davis raised a few eyebrows last time he appeared before the Brexit select committee. Especially when he mounted his audacious "that was then, this is now" defence.

In his latest appearance before the committee, the Brexit secretary chose another audacious tactic. Namely cutting short the session to get ready for another engagement.

He told the Committee he wanted to escape early so he could get ready for a crunch meeting of Theresa May’s Brexit war cabinet.

“Can I just make a point at the moment my department is normally under high time pressure - at the moment we're dealing with the high pace of negotiations, diplomacy, policy, the parliament fronts? So we're very tight.

"My office has told your clerk that I've got to limit this to an hour and a half. I mean no discourtesy by this but… my next meeting is very important to me."

Of course the cabinet minister's push for a slimmed-down session earned him a rebuke from Committee chair Hillary Benn, who said it was part of the Brexit secretary’s job description to face scrutiny from MPs.

“I speak, I think on behalf of the whole of the Committee. I think that really won’t do, because part of your responsibilities is to appear before the select committee and be accountable to parliament."

The Labour MP added: “We've all got other meetings but the committee has got a lot of ground to cover."







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