February 5, 2019
The price of printing 1,300 copies of Theresa May’s Brexit withdrawal deal has been revealed.
As the BBC reports, 1,300 copies of the “almost 600-page document” were ordered, costing £45,637 to print ($59,368/€51,993). 1,100 copies were to be distributed among MPs and peers, but many “remain uncollected in a Parliamentary office”.
The contents of the document itself have been “resoundingly rejected” by MPs with a majority of 230, and “the government has indicated that it will seek changes to the text of the withdrawal agreement to address rebel MPs’ concerns about the Northern Ireland backstop.”
Mark Francois, Vice-Chairman of the European Group of Brexiteer MPs, said he would “like to think that every MP who has voted on it has taken the time to read it first”, commenting, “In particular as the Whips’ Office have been such enthusiastic proponents, I would be intrigued to know how many of the whips have read all 585 pages before trying to persuade us how good of a thing it is.”
Regarding the decision to print out so many copies, a spokesperson for the Department for Exiting the European Union stated, “The decision to print a number of hard copies of the withdrawal agreement was made in consultation with the parliamentary authorities as they are best placed to advise on the likely requirements of both Houses.
“This was particularly true in this instance given the significance of the withdrawal agreement and the need for parliamentarians to properly scrutinise it.
“The costs highlighted in the FOI response also include the secure delivery and handling of the document.”
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