The High Court will this morning hear an oral application for permission to apply for judicial review to compel the production, in public, of the studies the government continues to withhold on the economic impacts of Brexit. Bristol's Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato and Jolyon Maugham QC of the Good Law Project have been pressing for the release of impact studies on 58 sectors of the economy – which government ministers made public reference to on a number of occasions – and a report prepared by HM Treasury, comparing the predicted economic detriment of Brexit with the potential benefits of alternative free trade arrangements .
Molly and Mr Maugham say there has been a ‘deliberate muddying of the waters’ over the release of the studies and are continuing to push for full release because the information is “of very considerable importance in informing public debate about the current negotiations regarding the UK’s proposed departure from the European Union .”
“The oral hearing today is about standing up for the public’s right to be as fully informed as possible as we prepare to leave the EU. You can’t build a road without a publicly available impact study, but apparently, it’s OK to drag a nation through one of the biggest changes in our lifetimes without allowing people to understand the consequences.
“The government has muddied the water over these studies. Before Christmas there was the publication of some lazy cut-and-paste work whose only purpose was to misdirect attention from the real studies. Then there was the selective and secretive release of some information to MPs in private before a Buzzfeed leak which seemed to reveal – in part at least – exactly what we had been requesting. But this information has not, of course, been made fully available to the public.
“The fact is, we still don’t know what the government is hiding. We need to force the government’s hand and make sure that any studies which are in the public interest are put in the public domain.”
An application for judicial review was refused in January on the grounds that an “adequate alternative remedy” exists, namely through Freedom of Information (FoI) requests. However, Scott Cato and Maugham, the claimants in the case, will renew their application at an oral hearing today. They say they have a claim under the common law powers and based on Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. They will also argue that the FoI process is too slow to enable release of the papers prior to the anticipated date of our departure from the EU. A FoI request last year was refused on the grounds that releasing the information would “prejudice international relations.”
Jolyon Maugham QC added:
“The British public are not children. We are not to be protected by a paternalistic Government from understanding what it knows to be the consequences for us of leaving the EU. What Government knows, what MPs know, what journalists know through leaks, and what the EU knows from its own studies, we, the British people, are entitled to know too.”
 See previous releases, letters and articles relating to the Brexit impact studies here
End Immigration Detention - these walls must fall
Green Councillors have submitted a motion to a coming Full Council meeting (11 December) supporting calls for an end to immigration detention in the UK. The motion, proposed by Green councillor Fi Hance and seconded by Labour councillor Ruth Pickersgill, calls on Bristol’s Mayor to endorse the ‘These Walls Must Fall’ Campaign (1), lobby the UK government, and work with local MPs and other councils to push for changes in immigration law and alternatives to detention.(2)
Cuts still hitting the poorest despite Mayor’s warm words
Green Mayoral Candidate, Sandy Hore-Ruthven, has responded to the news that Bristol Mayor, Marvin Rees, has today joined a nationwide warning that ‘councils have reached breaking point’ over funding cuts
Greens demands for the COP24 negotiations
This December government leaders will gather in Katowice, Poland for the COP24 climate summit, where all countries of the world, including EU Member States, must commit to put forward higher 2030 climate targets by 2020. To stay below 1.5°C, as indicated in the landmark IPCC report, the EU needs to commit to significantly increase both its long-term and 2030 targets.
Bristol can "become a beacon to the world on how to tackle climate change"
Bristol's Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, has said the South West region can become a beacon to the world on how to tackle climate change as well as showcasing the economic gains to be had from doing so. The region’s MEP has made the claim as negotiators from around the globe meet in Poland to discuss action on climate change and how to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement which aims to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
Bristol's Green MEP challenges charitable status of right-wing think tanks
Bristol's Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, has written to the Charity Commission to challenge the charitable status granted to a series of far-right think tanks. The challenge comes in the wake of the concession by one such organisation, the Taxpayers Alliance, that it had unfairly dismissed and smeared Brexit whistleblower Shahmir Sanni.
Buses are a right – not a privilege, says Sandy Hore-Ruthven
A good bus service means people can get where they need to go, when they need to go. The ability to travel should not be based on your income or where you live.
Lack of affordable housing unacceptable
Lack of affordable housing “completely unacceptable” – Green Councillor calls in Bedminster development plans
"It's time for a People's Vote" Bristol's Green MEP responds to Withdrawal Agreement
People voted neither for no deal or a dodgy deal. It’s time for the real deal – a vote on the reality of Brexit compared with remaining in the EU. It’s time for a People’s Vote
Greens declare a Climate Emergency and bring Bristol’s CO2 emissions target forwards 20 years
A Green party motion calling on the Mayor of Bristol to declare a climate emergency and bring the city’s carbon neutrality target forward by 20 years (to 2030) passed in a Full Council meeting this evening, committing Bristol to the most ambitious climate change target out of all UK Core Cities.
Greens challenge Mayor on support for Tall Buildings
Green councillors have raised concerns about the Labour Mayor’s support for high rise buildings
Greens call on Mayor: declare a Climate Emergency
Green councillors in Bristol are calling on the city’s Mayor to declare a Climate Emergency and bring forward Bristol’s carbon neutrality target, in a motion submitted to Full Council next week.
Time to kick plastic addiction as Green petition to be debated by Council
Thousands of people across Bristol have signed a petition to get rid of unnecessary disposable plastics started by Green Councillor Martin Fodor. The petition has received so much support that it will be debated by all councillors at Full Council. It will also receive a response from the Mayor. The petition calls on the Mayor to take all practical steps to eliminating wasteful plastic across Bristol and has been supported by plastics campaigners across the city. Greens have been campaigning for Bristol to become single-use plastic free for many years, tabling a motion on this in both 2015 and 2016.
Green response to 2018 budget
Responding to the 2018 budget, Bristol's Green MEP and party finance spokesperson, Molly Scott Cato MEP, said: “Greens said that this must be an emergency budget for the climate and that it would fail if a single pound was spent on climate wrecking projects .
Response to Mayor's 'State of the City' speech
Bristol's Green Mayoral Candidate responds to the Labour Mayor's unambitious 'State of the City' annual speech.
Green Councillors support Vision for future of Bristol’s parks
Green Councillors have endorsed the Parks Forum’s vision for the future of Bristol's Parks, and suggested some additional points.
Greens call for Review of Bristol’s House-Building Plans
Sandy Hore-Ruthven, Green Party candidate for Mayor of Bristol is calling for the Mayor to announce a review of Bristol’s Housing strategy at his State of the City Speech  on Wednesday following the government’s announced intention to lift the borrowing cap for local authorities . The cap currently dramatically limits councils from borrowing against their own existing housing stock to build new properties.
Green Councillors support calls to end immigration detention
In 2017, 27,000 people entered indefinite immigration detention in the UK, many of them from Bristol.
Green Councillors oppose government plans to fast track fracking
Green and independent Councillors from across the West of England signed a response to the government’s twin consultations on fracking and fracking exploration at a demo in Bristol on Tuesday 9 October, urging the government to back down from its plan to make controversial fracking developments harder to challenge under planning law.
Greens call for caution on tall buildings - response to Urban Living consultation
Green Councillors support high quality, denser developments to accommodate people and create communities but are concerned Bristol Council could lose sight of the downsides in its enthusiasm for tall buildings
Setting the record straight – the Lord Mayor’s car
Green councillors have expressed their disappointment with the tactics of Bristol’s Labour group after an ‘anonymous Labour source’ falsely claimed to the Bristol Post that Green Lord Mayor Cleo Lake had “demanded the purchase of one of the most expensive cars in the world”.
Bristol shoppers join worldwide campaign returning unnecessary plastic to supermarkets
This weekend Bristol shoppers and Greens joined campaigners from around the world in ‘plastic attacks’ to hand back their unneeded single use plastics to supermarkets across Bristol.
Letter: Bristol Cllrs must vote against the proposed airport expansion
We can all do our bit to help reduce the impact of climate change by choosing to walk and cycle more or fly less, but only politicians can make the big decisions that will decide whether our planet blossoms or burns. It is time they start treating climate change as the global emergency that it is.
Arena decision: Why are we letting austerity dictate how our city should grow?
You can’t shrink to greatness! But with the arena decision at cabinet last week that is what it feels like Bristol has done.
Bristol Greens to attend #RiseForClimate rally in Bristol – 8th September
Alongside organisations in Bristol and in cities around the world, Bristol Green Party members and elected representatives will be demanding urgent action on climate change by taking part in the #RiseForClimate rally in Bristol on 8th September.
Green Group Leader: Mayor's arena decision shows contempt for democracy
The day after he voted for a council motion supporting a Temple Meads location for Bristol's Arena, the city's Labour Mayor has scrapped the project altogether in a Cabinet meeting.
Opinion: Bristol wants the arena on Arena Island
Bristol Green Party's Deputy Coordinator writes for 24/7 about why the Mayor should listen and build the Arena on Arena Island.
Mayor should ‘abide by’ council vote for Arena location
A majority of cross-party councillors have taken the unusual step of calling an extraordinary Council meeting to vote on the location of Bristol’s Arena, and demanding that the Mayor ‘abides by’ the decision made. The Arena’s future was due to be decided by the Mayor on Sept 4th. However, amid growing accusations that the Mayor’s decision may be biased (1), councillors have called for a free vote. The letter to the Mayor includes signatures from a majority of councillors, including signatures from all four political parties.
Listen Again to Molly Scott Cato's speech at Bristol's People's Vote rally
Why Arena island is still the best location for Bristol's Arena
The Mayor’s own Value for Money study showed that the arena will pay for itself, will add no burden to the public purse, will not impact on council services and will leave the city with a significant asset. The Mayor has acknowledged on a number of occasions, and most recently on BBC Points West last Thursday, that an arena at Temple Island would be affordable for the city.
£5m cuts to special needs budget 'hidden' from Council
Bristol’s cabinet member for education and skills has been accused of misleading the council by hiding concerns around £5m of cuts to a special needs budget. A High Court judge has ruled that Bristol City Council did not properly consult over the cuts to the high needs block. Clive Stevens, Green councillor for Clifton Down, said: “It’s important that lessons are learned. The 2016 Bundred Review highlighted the need for councillors to be given clear information, but here in 2018 we had a £5m cut which was simply not shown in the budget papers." For the full article please see here>>