In a letter that was intended for the MPs, Dominic Raab has claimed that the Brexit deal will be finalised by the 21st of November.
Raab made the revelation on the 24th of October in a letter that was sent to the chair of the Brexit select committee, Hilary Benn. However, the correspondence has only just been published.
Downing Street has regularly refused to set a date for when an agreement with the European Union would be reached, insisting that discussions would be concluded by the end of the autumn.
The claim that the Brexit deal would be completed by the 21st of November suggests that the United Kingdom is still hoping that an EU summit that is pencilled in for November 17 or 18 will still go ahead.
The leaders of the European Union refused to sanction the meeting during a get together in that was held in Brussels this October as the issues regarding the Irish backstop was no closer to being resolved.
In the letter, Raab stated: “As indicated to you at the conclusion of the evidence session on 24 July, I would be happy to give evidence to the Committee when a deal is finalised, and currently expect 21 November to suitable.”
The UK Brexit secretary also revealed that both the United Kingdom and the European Union had agreed “on the principle of a UK wide customs backstop,” however, he said that discussions were still ongoing regarding the details of such an arrangement.
As a response to the letter, Benn criticised Raab of not providing some evidence to the MPs after the EU summit this October and was appearing to avoid further scrutiny.
Benn wrote in a letter: “It is not sufficient or effective for the Committee to ask questions of you through correspondence until a deal has been concluded, as you suggest in your letter.”
He added: “Having been a member of this Committee, you will know that this is not how committees undertake inquiries and are not conducive to scrutiny.”
The Brexit Secretary was subject to a similar criticism that came from a Lords committee earlier this month when his decision not to appear before the committee until a deal had been agreed upon was said to be “unacceptable.”