TORY ministers have been told to publish the government’s secret research into how badly Brexit is going to impact on Scotland.

David Davis’s Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) yesterday said they couldn’t even confirm or deny such a paper existed, because it could impact “the national and regional economies by precipitating preemptive and reactionary assumptions from stakeholders in the respective regions”.

But Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, has already confirmed the existence of the analysis during a committee hearing on Wednesday.

READ MORE: Anger as UK wrongly orders 106 EU citizens to leave

The bizarre excuse from DExEU came in response to a freedom of information (FOI) request from the Press Association, submitted after the department’s former chief of staff, James Chapman, tweeted about the existence of analysis showing Scotland and the North East of England would lose most from Brexit.

DExEU said: “In this case, the disclosure of whether information is held or not held may give insight which could in turn undermine the UK’s negotiations with the EU or adversely affect the UK’s national and regional interests.

“By confirming or denying whether we held this information, we could similarly impact the national and regional economies by precipitating preemptive and reactionary assumptions from stakeholders in the respective regions.

“This, again, may undermine the success of the bilateral negotiations and consequently damage the UK economy.”

Questioned by Labour MP Catherine McKinnell at the Treasury Select Committee on Wednesday, Hammond said: “We have a model that can look at sectoral impacts, as well as impacts in bilateral trade pairings with different countries.”

McKinnell asked: “But not particularly regions of the UK?” The Chancellor replied: “Regions of the UK as well, yes.”

He added: “We are constantly using this model. It is not a single assessment; the model is a working tool.

“We constantly use it to test different ideas and potential solutions. For example, output from that model will have informed some of the thinking that has gone into preparing the 14 [Brexit position] papers that have been published.”

SNP Europe spokesman, Peter Grant, called the Whitehall response gobbledygook.

Grant said: “Behind this Whitehall gobbledygook lies the clear implication that the UK Government knows that their deeply damaging Brexit will have a substantial impact on jobs and living standards in Scotland — and they are desperately trying to conceal this.

“Evidence is mounting every day of the serious damage that Brexit is set to do to Scotland’s economy. The Fraser of Allander institute estimated that a hard Brexit could cost 80,000 jobs in Scotland by 2030 — and now we may even face a catastrophic no deal Brexit.

“Meanwhile separate research found that Aberdeen and Edinburgh will be two of the cities hardest hit by Brexit, and that nearly a quarter of manufacturers in Scotland have lost or are at risk of losing jobs due to Brexit. It’s a safe bet that if the UK Government’s analysis had shown any benefits at all for Scotland they would have trumpeted it from the rooftops.”

The row came just days after 120 MPs, from all parties, signed a letter asking the government to publish all their research into Brexit.

That letter, co-ordinated by Labour’s David Lammy and Seema Malhotra, and signed by Labour, SNP and LibDem MPs, said it was important “that there is a full and frank debate about the impact of Brexit on our economy, jobs, trade and living standards and what can be done to mitigate risks. That is only possible if analysis of the impact of Brexit is published.”

Tory former attorney general Dominic Grieve has also joined calls for the information to be published.

He told the House magazine: “If the Government has prepared these impact assessments I would be very keen to read them, and I find it difficult to see why they shouldn’t be made available to the public.

“I think it’s important that the public should understand how the Government’s own advisers see the consequences that Brexit will have.”

The former Remain campaigner added: “I can’t escape the fact that it’s always seemed to me that the decision we took when we had the referendum last year was unfortunately taken on a lack of information.”

Meanwhile, President of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker has said the current British negotiating position is untenable.

“We cannot find, for the time being, a real compromise as far as the remaining financial commitments of the UK are concerned,” he told students in Luxembourg.

“If you are sitting in the bar and you are ordering 28 beers and then suddenly some of your colleagues [are leaving without] paying, that is not feasible. They have to pay. They have to pay.”