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Can select committees rise to the Brexit moment?

The parliamentary bodies provide essential scrutiny. But as the government embarks on the most immense constitutional challenge in living memory, are they able to do their job properly?

By Alex Dean  

Photo: Matt Crossick/Matt Crossick/Empics Entertainment

Westminster watchers and parliamentary obsessives are used to watching MPs squirm, but late last year there was a classic of the genre.

On 6th December David Davis, then still in the cabinet, appeared before the Brexit Select Committee. The arch-Leaver began in characteristically relaxed fashion, but was quickly put under agonising pressure. There had been a suggestion the government had conducted meticulous impact assessments, judging the effects of departure on different sectors of the British economy. What followed was excruciating to watch.


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