07/09/2017 House of Commons

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Live coverage of the day's proceedings in the House of Commons including the first day of debate on the second reading of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.

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way and so on. There is always more to be done and the honourable


gentleman may well want to arrange for an adjournment debate on that


subject. Statement, the Minister of State for Europe and the Americas.


Minister Sir Alan Duncan. I'm very grateful to you for this opportunity


to make a statement on hurricane Irma, which is already affecting and


is said to further Fed Caribbean islands and the south-east United


States with devastating effect. Much as I appreciate the wish of a house


to move on to the second reading of the EU Withdrawal Bill, I'm sure


everyone appreciates the importance of informing the House about the


latest position on this unfolding catastrophe. As with any Hurricane


Fly -- hurricane, no one can be sure of the effect until it has become


clear but it's force meant about planning was put into the high state


of readiness to days ago. The crisis centre has two important functions,


one is to organise the fullest possible con Schuler assistance to


UK citizens abroad and the other is to monitor the part of a hurricane


and coordinate every conceivable UK response, in particular to those


British territories affected. Mr Speaker, Hurricane Irma, having


reached category five, the highest possible category, hit three British


overseas territories yesterday. Anguilla, Montserrat and the British


Virgin Islands. Today, we expect the hurricane to affect the further UK


territory, the Turks and Caicos Islands. The hurricane yesterday


also caused damage in independent Commonwealth countries of Antigua


and Barbuda and St Kitts and Nevis and we expect to affect the


Dominican Republic, Haiti and the Bahamas today. It will most likely


affect Cuba and south-eastern Florida tomorrow. The hurricane is


heading westwards and Remain strong. We have an initial assessment of the


severity of the damage it has caused and I will outline for the House


what we know so far. Montserrat was swiped by the hurricane yesterday,


but our initial assessment is relatively positive. Fortunately,


the damage is not as severe as first thought. However, in contrast,


Anguilla received the hurricane's full blast. The initial assessment


is that the damage has been severe and in places critical. We expect


further reports to make clear the full nature of the devastation and


at the moment, Anguilla's port and airport remained close. The British


Virgin Islands were also not spared the hurricane's full force when it


passed through yesterday morning. Our initial assessment is all severe


damage and we expect the islands will need extensive humanitarian


assistance, which we will of course provide. The hurricane is expected


to hit another British overseas Territory later today. The Turks and


Caicos Islands lie in the hurricane's predicted path and


officials in London and the territories are working intensively


on disaster preparedness and response. They are also liaising


with their counterparts in the Cayman Islands for assistance. The


French and Dutch territories of Guadeloupe and St Martin have also


been hit and the initial assessments ar of widespread damage. But the


more detailed assessment continues. No British nationals have yet


contacted us to ask for assistance from these islands. Two Commonwealth


realms were affected by Hurricane Irma yesterday. Antigua and


Barbuda's less populated island Barbuda was most severely affected.


Antigua and St Kitts and Nevis were less badly affected than many had


feared, with only minor damage. We expect the hurricane will affect the


Dominican Republic and Haiti today. It will sweep on through the


south-east of the Bahamas later and tomorrow is predicted to hit Cuba


and southern Florida. Mr Speaker, Mr Deputy Speaker, officials in London


and the territories have been working throughout the day and night


to assess and quantify the needs of our territories and to coordinate


across Government response. The officials in London are maintaining


contact, although that is sometimes difficult, with governors' offices


in the territories. The governors teams are themselves working closely


with the territory's governments to respond to the crisis. The Royal


Mail ship Royal Fleet auxiliary mounts Bay is already in the


Caribbean and should reach the affected territories today. The ship


carries Royal Marines and army engineers and her primary task is


the protection of our overseas territories. She is loaded with a


range of equipment, vehicles, tense, stores and hydraulics vehicles


specifically intended to respond to disasters like this. We stand ready


to charter flights to deliver additional supplies as appropriate.


Mr Deputy Speaker, I spoke last night in London representatives of


the British Virgin Islands and I was in our crisis centre yesterday


afternoon and again last night and have been based there this morning.


Add 8:45am last night, the Foreign Secretary spoke to Anguilla's cheap


Victor Banks but were unable to contact the premiere of the British


Virgin Islands last night but Lord Ahmed has been in touch with the


governor this morning. We will work in support of the overseas


territories to support the best possible assessment of their


immediate and longer-term needs. To that end, my right honourable friend


the Secretary of State for Defence will chair a meeting of COBRA at 2pm


today. Our priority is to support the territories' governments in


meeting their immediate humanitarian and security needs, including


shelter, water and accommodation. We have for UK aid humanitarian experts


in the region who are helping to coordinate the response. We will


assess with the territories' governments their long-term


reconstruction requirements, as we have done in the past. And as the


House will appreciate, the relationship between overseas


territories and their parent countries differs. Whilst French


territories are directly governed, that is not the case with our


overseas territories. While this means that our responses will of


course be different, we will seek to achieve the same objectives and are


taking immediate steps to do so. The Prime Minister called Erdogan on


this morning to discuss our respective responses to Hurricane


Irma. They agreed the devastation it had route was terrible, with


unconfirmed reports emerging of a number of fatalities. Mr Deputy


Speaker, the Prime Minister updated the French president on our


response, noting that DFID humanitarian advisers had already


deployed to the region to provide damage assessments and humanitarian


support and that our FA mounts Bay was already nearly area. They agreed


to co-operate closely, including with the Dutch, to understand the


extent of the damage and coordinate relief efforts. Mr Deputy Speaker,


we will all do our utmost to help those affected and I undertake to


keep the House updated as required. Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker, and I


thank the Minister for his statement and allowing me to see the statement


prior. May I start by associating myself with the minister's remarks


in sending the deepest sympathies of this House to the people whose lives


and livelihoods have been lost due to the devastation caused by


Hurricane Irma. Many thousands of British tourists visit the Caribbean


every year for their holidays and I'd like to ask, what is the


Government's estimate of the number of UK nationals currently in the


countries that have been hit by Hurricane Irma or are likely to be


affected? And what requests for consular assistance as the Foreign


Office received from British National is in the countries


affected? And also, what assistance is the Government ready to provide


in response to such requests? What efforts are the Government making to


communicate with British Nationals across the region to make sure they


know what help is available to them? And, of course, holiday-makers are


by no means the only people who will have been affected. The damage for


those who live in the region will be both profound and lasting,


particularly with the effect on the tourism industry. Many of these


people may also be British, given the number of UK overseas


territories in the Caribbean. The Minister has given us the


Government's initial assessment of the impact of Hurricane Irma on


overseas territories such as Anguilla, Montserrat, Turks and


Caicos and the British Virgin Islands, but I would like to ask


what discussions has the Minister had or intends to have with the


governments of these territories about the effects of the Hurricane


Fly -- the hurricane and the with the governments of Antigua and


Barbuda, which have also been affected? And what efforts are the


Government making to work with the authorities in these areas on their


reconstruction plans? I would also like to ask what reassurances he can


give that the UK stands ready to provide not only the immediate


humanitarian and security relief that is needed so urgently, but also


the sustained commitment to reconstruction which will be so


important in the longer term? And, finally, I am sure that the Minister


will commit to providing regular updates to the House on the progress


of reconstruction efforts and particularly on what steps this


Government is taking to assist with those efforts and also I am


confident that they will update the House following the COBRA meeting to


be held this afternoon. Very grateful for the honourable lady


both for what she said and the tone in which she said it, because I


think this House will want to send out a united message of concern and


all want to do the very best for those who have been in many cases


devastated by the ferocity of this hurricane. On the question of


tourists, many of course will have left because there was some notice


that this was likely to come and it's not actually peak season, so we


have not yet had any direct individual requests for conscious


assistance, but I think we all have concerned that beneath the rubble,


in some cases, there will be cases which will require our urgent


personal response. Our focus, I can tell the House, is of course not


just on tourists, it's on everybody. We really have complete overall


concern, particularly for our overseas territories, which are


affected, and to that end, we have ?12 million immediately available


through our rapid response mechanism for disaster relief fund recovery


and with me in the House is the Secretary of State for International


Development, who, like the Foreign Office, are on full alert and doing


their utmost with a great wealth of expertise to deploy on this and I


can speak not only as Foreign Minister, but someone who in past


has also been a DFID Minister. So we of course will in the long term


always meet our full legal obligations under the overseas


development act to our overseas territories, but can I assure the


House that we are pulling out all the stops to make sure that we can


do our utmost to bring urgent assistance once we, with the


professionalism DFID has, does the assessment to make sure we know who


are in greatest need and then we can use our adeptness and flexibility


urgently to address those who most need our help.


Can I thank him for his statement, and the comprehensive nature of the


response we appear to be preparing, and the undertaking that we will


provide all necessary immediate humanitarian assistance. Can I


welcome the fact he has spoken to the London representatives of the


BVI, and would he confirmed he would be happy to act as representative


for a London to the president of Anguilla, so she can be kept


updated. The overseas territory of Anguilla does not receive direct aid


from DFI D, only from the European Union, and can I assume the ?12


million means we are equally committed to the long-term recovery


and reconstruction of Anguilla as we are to the immediate humanitarian


need. We are endeavouring to contact everyone, and contact in some cases


is quite difficult. It is always a distinction between DFID funding,


which is eligible and which is not, but we will reassure as much as we


can to give the help we would like to give wherever we find the need is


severe. So, as my honourable friend requests, we will focus on all help.


We have dealt with many hurricanes and typhoons in the region. Indeed,


four years ago, I give assistance as the Minister to Saint Lucia and


Saint Vincent, who had all the bridges swept away, but it was


because we had professionalism to assess the damage that we knew how


best to respond to it. Our response is flexible, and again I think that


reflects the competence of DFID. Thank you. I am grateful of today's


statement. There is no doubt that the devastation across the Caribbean


is grave and a tragedy. Our thoughts and wishes go out to those assessing


the damage, and to those who have already been hit, Anguilla, and St


Lucia, and Barbara, which the Prime Minister says is totally demolished


and nearly uninhabitable. We would encourage the secretary to send as


much urgent aid as possible to them. The prospect of it hitting locals


who have already been hit amid the devastation is unthinkable. There is


an increasing precedence of hurricanes. In some areas, there


have been three, and I quote, these have been described as the new


normal. We must put action on this as a priority. A representative from


Anguilla told the BBC, climate change is real, in the Caribbean we


are dealing with the consequences of climate change, but it is


unfortunate there are some who see this differently. Will the


government express the solidarity with those affected, particularly


those on Barbuda, in association with the Prime Minister. As part of


the UK's much vaunted relationship with the US, what pressure is being


put on Donald Trump to be part of the solution and not the problem? --


the problem, regarding the Paris climate agreement? There is no


greater incidence of severe weather in many parts of the world. But I


hope he will allow me to confine myself to the urgent nature of the


response to people in desperate need than to engage today in a debate on


the broader issues. Our priority is primarily to overseas territories,


but not confined to them. Thus we will be focusing on the British


Virgin Islands, Anguilla, and the Turks and cake silence, and that is


why the crisis centre and the Foreign Office and DFID are joining


to deal with this, to make sure help is rapid. Clearly this is a


devastating situation, but it is unfolding. Gucci assure us that he


will keep us updated on this? I can tell the House this comes in phases.


You have to start with the urgent cases of injury, homelessness, the


need for food and water, then there is the important process of the


follow-up, to make sure that infrastructure and reconstruction


are properly planned for and considered. I spoke to a student


from Anguilla who has arrived today in Chesterfield. He has laid out the


skill of the devastation in Anguilla, it is quite unlike


anything they have seen before. The Minister was at pains to explain the


difference between our relationship and that of the French government


with the overseas territory. If he can make the same objectives they


have set out, he will know that we need a great deal greater resource.


Will he lay out what resources we will be able to Bashar will he lay


out what we can do to help the schools, hospitals, prisons, the


devastated infrastructure they need to get back on their feet? I


understand what he's saying regarding Anguilla, because people


in the media are comparing our response to that of the French. I


hope I can give him genuine reassurance on this. We are well


practised in emergency response, and we Place Royal auxiliary vessel in


the area every year in anticipation of this. This one has been


particularly severe, but the reason for having this auxiliary vessel is


that you do not trap response resources on an island which might


more importantly be needed in a neighbouring island. Sodhi auxiliary


vessel has flexibility, the ability to make water. It crucially has a


helicopter, which means people can be reached very quickly. The Royal


auxiliary vessel is a fantastic resource which we should be very


proud of. It has Marines, military engineers, supplies, and it can


deploy flexibly relating to the devastating path of a hurricane. You


never know until it has happened where the need is greatest. We can


supplement this initial urgent response with other belief flights


supported by DFID out of the disaster relief funding we have, and


over time the House will see that our response will prove effective


and good for the people we are there to look after. My thoughts go out to


people I worked with quite closely, and have been trying to contact


them. Does this not highlight a conundrum that 1's overseas


territories have preferential treatment on the DFID budget, it is


not recognised what real risks small island states have, and how can he


use his time with the Foreign Office to make sure this conundrum is


addressed? Can I acknowledge his service as a Foreign Office minister


with his great knowledge of this field. He is asking me to explain or


give a thesis on what one might call the border conundrum, we're overseas


development assistance funding applies in some cases but not in


others, but when it comes to hurricanes and typhoons, the


argument may well be that we wish we had spent money in advance and that


kind of thing. Thought will be given on this, but DFID will do the utmost


it can to make sure we address meet work -- addressed the need wherever


it is needed. If hurricane hardly happened 25 years ago, an MIT


professor states it would have been an event which happens once in 2000


years. Now we have had a Kenama, which has appalling loss of life and


deadly floods. -- Hurricane Irma. What are we doing


to get the help back on track? It is urgent and we are failing. The main


focus is on emergency relief. As part of DFID programmes, that is


assistance to make sure flooding can be reduced, and infrastructure can


hold up, so I know that the advanced work to which she refers is deeply


entrenched in many of the programmes across the world on which DFID


spends money. The Foreign Office crisis centre and the Department for


International Development have done us proud by springing into action,


and I welcome the ?12 million fund he mentioned. However, the


devastation caused by the hurricane will be exacerbated by another one,


Hurricane Jose, and I wondered if they have taken into account what


further damage Hurricane Jose could create. I have been concentrating


very much on Hurricane Irma, but I will immediately go and see what I


should know about Hurricane Jose. The serious point is that the


government wanted to come to the House at the earliest opportunity to


let the House know what we know, to share a very openly and


transparently clear picture of what we had prepared and what we wish to


do, and what I said earlier, I am sure we will update the House in due


course to explain what we have done subsequently. As someone who was


involved with aid to Montserrat, what damage has actually been done


to it? I notice he says it was swiped by the hurricane, but I do


not know what that means. Secondly, there was an interesting programme


on BBC science last night, and preparing to go to Mars. Given that


we are preparing to go, as, why is it we cannot predict hurricanes much


sooner before the hit? You may not be able to answer that, but I think


it is an interesting question. She will forgive me if I focus more on


Montserrat than on Mars today. I am very familiar with Montserrat, which


had its own problem when it had its volcanic eruption many years ago.


The damage assessment we had was fortunately that Montserrat has not


been severely hit. The hurricane passed over did not cause the


widespread disruption or demolition that we feared. At the moment, our


attention is on those countries affected by the hurricane, and quite


rightly the government's focus should be on that. But back in 2015,


storm Desmond which had an impact in America, subsequently had a huge


impact on this country, particularly Carlisle and Cumbria, affecting many


lives. While his priority is clearly the Caribbean and those countries


that other parts of the government -- could he assure us that other


parts of the government will be looking at this? As a sophisticated


first world country we always have contingency plans, plans for civil


response of that sort, so, I am sure that the answer to my honourable


friend is yes. In terms of a specific backlash from this


hurricane, I am sure the scientists are working on it very energetically


already. Our hearts go out to those affected


in particular because some of the very poorest will be those that have


lost absolutely everything in this, as so often happens. The rich will


rebuild their mansions but the poor will not. He is right to focus on


the immediate issues, but if we are to build resilience, because there


will be another incident like this, do, for instance, the BBI and Turks


and Caicos, do they not have to have a broader tax base in the end? Well,


I think, for instance on the Turks and Caicos Islands, which I focused


on in great detail when I was a minister, which was pretty well


bankrupt and its deficit was growing, yes, part of the set of


conditions we set down to them for restoring their finances was to


improve their tax base. So I can point to a very positive record of


this Government answering exactly the question The Right Honourable


gentleman has asked, but also, implicit in his question, is if you


are going to reconstruct the devastated island, you got to make


sure you build things in a way that are going to withstand hurricanes in


the future, so when it comes to rivers that are not going to flood,


river banks that can contain the water, houses that can withstand a


greater ferocity of wind, then in a way, out of this disaster, can come


an opportunity for better resilience in the future. I commend my right


honourable friend for his statement, which in its comprehensiveness and


succinct nurse was a model which other ministers would be well


advised to follow. In relation to his last point, we have an absolute


duty of course to protect our overseas realms and territories from


environmental disasters. Is there a plan to hurricane proof as much as


possible key infrastructure in these realms and territories? I like to


think that being short and precise is why Hallmark. -- my Hallmark.


Again, across many DFID programmes around the world, areas like


Bangladesh, which suffer flooding and things like that, building in


resilience is a crucial part of the entire philosophy of DFID. So in as


much as that can also be incorporated into a country's


planning, it must be both welcomed and encouraged, but I point out to


the House, we do not govern these countries but we can encourage them


to govern themselves in a way which introduces exactly the sort of


standards my honourable friend has described. I personally have been


shocked to see places I have personally visited absolutely


devastated in the region and having been through a hurricane and a


tornado myself, I know just how frightening and unpleasant it can


be, it is shocking and our thoughts and prayers are with all those


people. I welcome very much for the Minister has had to say,


particularly about RFA Mounts Bay and the facilities it can provide.


Would he look at a second RFA vessel going to the region one or two weeks


later with the necessary infrastructure replies and relief


efforts, particularly if there is further devastation in the Turks and


Caicos? And are our search and rescue personnel on stand-by to


provide assistance? They do an excellent job in these crises. On


search and rescue, the answer is yes, they will be deployed, and I


think the COBRA meeting at 2pm will discuss all of these options, but


sitting in a crisis centre this morning and looking at the auxiliary


vessel going, one of the great advantages of this vessel, it has a


helicopter and one of the issues we are looking at very urgently is to


try and get a second helicopter and with supplementary relief flights


and possibly a second naval vessel, I am not committing it to it now but


in the hope we can do that when we look at the disaster and assess it,


then the answer to his questions I hope will be yes but I would just


say to the House that we had to appreciate that this is a massive,


perhaps unprecedented, natural disaster. We haven't seen a


hurricane on the scale in our lifetime and so we are going to have


to assess the damage and respond as best we possibly can, knowing that


this is, as I would put it, a whopper. I thank my right honourable


friend for his statement and the commitment made by the Government to


help those suffering. Clearly, the United States of America, in advance


of the hurricane, have ordered the evacuation of Key West completely.


That wasn't practical on many of the islands that have been devastated.


But has there been any request, for example for Barbuda, to be


completely evacuated, given that reports suggest it is completely


uninhabitable? We are not empowered, Mr Deputy Speaker, to demand the


evacuation of countries which are self-governing. But we do our best


to make sure that they are fully informed and modern science does


help inform people and so compared with perhaps even two decades ago,


people have had greater prior notice of the danger than they would have


had them. I welcome the minister's commitment to immediate relief, but


with respect, I think that today is precisely the day we need to be


talking about those broader courses. As we just heard, Gaston Brown, the


leader of Antigua and Barbuda is talking about climate change today.


Can he reassure the House that we don't have to wait for a hurricane


to hit the UK before we have the kind of analysis we need from this


Government to tackle climate break down because without that, we will


not see the climate leadership his Government likes to claim in theory


being shown in practice. I apologise for promoting you, you have


miraculously reappeared and I didn't see you out of the corner of my eye.


May I just say that I think the honourable lady has deeply misjudged


the tone of this House today. We are seeing people in deep and urgent


immediate need and we are also leading the world on climate change


and she ought to show a bit more urgent and immediate humanity than


make the point she has made today. I very much welcomed the statement by


the Minister with regards to rescue and relief. The Minister in the


statement says that we are en route, the Royal Navy ships, later today.


The United States already have carriers there at the moment and


choppers and field hospitals. Are we in touch with them to have a joint


operation and ensure all that can be done is done? I think one of the


positive elements of great international phenomenon like this


is that countries do their work together -- a grave international


phenomenon. We are working with the French under Dutch and there will be


coordination with the Americans that they will be primarily focused on


Florida but I would hope that where one country will help another, they


will all do so and I'm sure there will be such incidents in the days


ahead. I appreciate the speed in which the Minister has come to the


House to update us on what is happening. Can he talk briefly about


Haiti? All reports say the storm will be travelling to Haiti, so can


I ask him what the Foreign Office and DFID will be doing to improve


the relief for Haiti when the storm hits because he will appreciate, as


will the Secretary of State for DFID, that they have had multiple


disasters over a number of years with difficult to rain. Can I ask


what he is doing to address that? It is such an enormous hurricane,


hitting so much land mass, that there will need to be a massive and


comprehensive response. We have deep and extensive experience of going


into Haiti following hurricanes in the past, but I say again, our first


priority will be to protect and assist British overseas territories.


I welcome the minister's statement and his commitment to keep this has


updated. Could I invite him once again to publicly thank all of those


working at the FCO crisis centre. He has seen their work first hand but


so often it goes unseen and in particular, their important work for


communication and ensuring British citizens are as safe as possible


when they are abroad. I particularly appreciate what my honourable friend


has just said and it refers equally to DFID, where officials have been


working throughout the night. As I say, I was at the crisis centre


yesterday afternoon out and at half past nine last night and again this


morning. They have been manning this around the clock, constantly in


touch with the overseas territories and other political groupings to


make sure that we can be as co-ordinated as we possibly can and,


yes, I publicly thank all of them as everyone in this House I am sure


would share. I absolutely appreciate the importance of the immediate


humanitarian effort and I would hope that at the COBRA meeting this


afternoon, the Government does also look at the possible impact of


hurricane Jose, which I think is quite alarming, the reports we are


receiving but I also urge the issue of climate insurance, I think this


is something that is to be on the political agenda. I can give a


positive answer to that, within DFID, this is a positive and ongoing


policy stream where, again, I think the UK and DFID are in the lead


across the world and so I can reassure the honourable laid a very


constantly -- lady very confidently. This has been a devastating


hurricane, but the islands will recover and past experience tells us


that they often recover well before they are perceived to have


recovered. Will be therefore be helping to provide assistance and


communicating that fact and promoting the islands once they are


in a position to communicate that they are open to business again? Let


me do my bit now by saying people I hope will still plan to go on


holiday to these islands. They will be pieced back together and the


worst thing that could happen to them is that they face long-term


economic cost because people turn their back on them. I would urge


everyone not to turn their back on these islands but to think


positively of going there to get some sunshine and to make sure they


can share in their recovery. First of all, Minister, I am greatly


encouraged by your response, very comprehensive and very substantial


and you have set an example for other offices and apartments to


follow and I'm sure they will be trying to emulate your efforts. What


support is available for the British National is on holiday in the path


of Hurricane Irma at this moment, with more hurricanes on the way? I


have some constituents who are in rented accommodation there now, so


what discussions have taken place with the embassy to get the advice


and safety across to those people in those places? I mean, the advice is


very clear from public media and also on the Foreign Office website


in terms of travel, but we have not yet had any direct requests the


consular assistance. But one of the reasons are crisis centre is on full


alert is to make sure that if we do so, we can respond to maximum


effect. Sir Edward Leigh, point of order. I understand a huge number of


people have put in to speak today and equally on Monday. Now,


Hurricane Irma is a tragic and deadly event but it is not heading


towards our shores but Brexit is and our efforts here will depend whether


it is a gentle touch on the cheeks or a storm, so I do urge the


Government on Monday to try and desist from bringing statements, so


we get a record number of backbenchers and indeed on every


occasion to be generous with the House of Commons both with


information and time. I agree with that view and it is one I have


articulated to the Government Chief Whip and which I understand. He is


sympathetic. For my own part, trying to be helpful, I can say that


notwithstanding my enthusiasm to serve the housing granting where


appropriate urgent questions, colleagues will understand that the


bar for urgent questions on Monday will be very high. Mr Kenneth


Clarke. Has the chief whip explains you why there is any reason we don't


suspend the five o'clock rule this evening? There is no chance of any


division taking place on the first day of a two-day debate and it


really is rather absurd when we discuss such enormous issues with


such long-term significance that members are told they have got to


confine their remarks to three minutes or some equivalent? An


explanation has been offered to me on that point. I'm sympathetic to


what The Right Honourable and learn a gentleman has said and hope


account will be taken of it, not least in relation to Monday and


although I know The Right Honourable gentleman speaks in support of the


rights of all of his colleagues, I hope he is at least moderately


mollified to know that there is no question of the Right Honourable and


learner gentleman today will probably add any other time in a


speech being confined by the chair to a mere three minutes. Check are


Muna. Thank you Mr Speaker, I was wondering whether you could give


your views and advice with regard to the matter of Big Ben. Many tears


have been shared across both sides of this has at the silencing of the


bong is Big Ben, but the issue I want to raise is much more serious


than that. The company, the construction company that has been


awarded the preconstruction and scaffolding contract for Big Ben,


Sir Robert McAlpine, we understand has been awarded the main contract


to fix those bongs and to do the refit of Big Ben. We had a debate


earlier this week in Westminster Hall about blacklisting. Sir Robert


McAlpine was one of the firms that founded the consulting Association


which was responsible for the blacklisting of over 3,000


construction workers, depriving them of a livelihood, facilitating the


systematic discrimination and victimisation of those workers. Can


I ask you, Mr Speaker, what message you think it sends to the victims of


this gross injustice for this House to award a contract to a firm that


not only funded the consulting Association, but provided its first


chair and another chair of that organisation? I'd also be interested


to learn to what extent this is a decision made by the House and to


what extent it is a decision made by the Government. I note the Prime


Minister is in her place, I think many people would want to hear from


her on this as well. I thank him for his point of order.


The House will not want a dilation on the matter, suffice it to say


that an initial contract was awarded. The contract for the main


works has yet, as I understand it, to be awarded. Nevertheless, I take


on what he perfectly legitimately and reasonably puts to me. House of


Commons commission considered this issue yesterday, and we are seeking


reassurance from the company, not least in light of the facts that the


honourable gentleman has just articulated, and in light of his


remarks in the Westminster Hall debate yesterday, which colleagues


and I have studied. As, I believe the honourable gentleman indicated,


blacklisting is now illegal. This House will expect any contractor to


observe the letter and spirit of the law, and secondly, to conform to the


highest standards in such matters. I hope people understand that I cannot


be expected to say more than that today, but I am not knocking what he


said. It is important, and we are sensitive to it. And we will be


conscious in the days ahead of the reputational importance of what he


has raised. Perhaps I can leave it there for now. Order, presentation


of Bill, Mr David Hanson. House of Lords exclusion of hereditary peers


Bill. Second reading what they? Friday 27 April 2018. Thank you.


Presentation of Bill? Pensions review of women's arrangements


number two, Bill. 27th of April 2018. Thank you. De Klerk will now


proceed to lead the orders of the day. European Union Withdrawal Bill,


second reading. Thank you. I called to move the second reading that the


Secretary of State exiting the European Union, secretary David


Davis. I beg to move that the now read a second time. Mr Speaker, when


I introduced the European Union Withdrawal Bill earlier this year, I


said it was just the beginning of a process to ensure the decision made


by the people in June last year is honoured. Today we begin the next


step in the historic process of honouring that decision. Simply,


this bill is an essential step. While it does not take us out of the


European Union, that is a matter for the Article 50 process, it does


ensure that on the day we leave, businesses nowhere they stand,


workers' rights are upheld and consumers remain protected. This


bill is vital to ensuring that as we leave, we do so in an orderly


manner. Let me start with a brief summary of the bill before going on


to set out key provisions in more depth. The bill is designed to


provide maximum possible legal certainty and continuity while


restoring control of the United Kingdom. It does this in three broad


steps. First it removes from the statute book the key legislation


passed by this Parliament in 1972, the European Communities Act. That


gave European law supreme status over law made in this country. It is


therefore right that it be removed from the statute book on the day the


UK leads the European Union, bringing to end the European law


over laws made here in the United Kingdom. Second, the bill takes a


snapshot of the body of EU law, which currently forms part of the


United Kingdom legal system, and ensures it will continue to apply in


the United Kingdom after we leave. This is to ensure that wherever


possible, the same rules and laws will apply the day after Exeter as


they did before. Without this step, a large part falls away when the


European Communities Act is repealed. Simply preserving the law


is not enough. The ministers will be devolved powers to address the


problems which would arise when we leave the European Union. These


powers allow ministers to make those changes to ensure the statute book


works on day one. This will be a major undertaking across the United


Kingdom. I will give way in a moment. Following this, it will be


for the United Kingdom legislators to pass laws and to adjudicate them.


Mr Speaker, the bill enables us to leave the European Union in the


smoothest and most orderly way possible. It is the most significant


piece of legislation to be considered for some time and it will


be rightly scrutinised line by line on the floor of this House. I stand


ready to listen to those who offer improvements of the bill, in the


spirit of preparing statute book for withdrawal from the European Union.


The right honourable member for St Pancras likes to remind me that I


have a dedication to holding the government for the account. I have


not changed my views at all. LAUGHTER Let me be clear, this bill


does only what is necessary for a smooth exit and to provide


stability. Have ever, as I repeatedly said, I


welcome and encourage contributions from those who approach the task in


good faith and in the spirit of collaboration. We all have a


commitment to doing this in the best interest of the United Kingdom. He


is opening that she mentioned it gives ministers the power is to


change laws, does that include changing laws to devolved


administrations? I will come to the detail of that later, and how the


process will work. If he will be patient. I thank him for giving way.


Will he take this opportunity to confirm that the government will not


use this bill to make policy changes? Again, I will detail this


later, but there is one exception to this. The primary aim of the bill is


to maintain policy as it is now. The only exception is under withdrawal


arrangements, which will be time determined and limited, and I will


detail that in a second. I give way. George Osborne, in his headline in


the Evening Standard last night, referred to the Secretary of State


approach as being ruled by decree. Why is this high-handed approach


being taken to the practices of this Parliament? I do not read the


Evening Standard, I have to tell you!


LAUGHTER And it sounds like with good reason.


I have to tell them, if I'm going to take lectures on rule by decree, it


will not be by the editor of the Evening Standard. One more time. Can


he confirmed that if the government wishes to make a change by statutory


instrument, that is a process, so it is a synthetic nonsense to suggest


this. LAUGHTER He is entirely right, and I


will elaborate on that later. The editor of the Evening Standard


should know that from his own experience. The key point of this


bill is to avoid significant and serious gaps in the statute book.


Employees can be clear about their rights, and businesses can be sure


about their trade. Workers' rights, they will be enforceable to UK


courts, which are remind the world over. The bill provides certainty as


to how the law applies after we leave the European Union and ensures


individuals and businesses can continue to find redress when


problems arise. Without this bill, all of these things are put at risk.


The bill must be on the statute book in the time ahead of withdrawal, so


the statutory instruments he referred to, that will flow from the


bill, can be made in time before Brexit date, we are in position to


look at the laws from day one. The bill provides a clear basis for the


negotiation of the European Union by ensuring continuity and clarity in


the laws, without prejudice to the ongoing negotiations. Without this,


a smooth and orderly exit is possible.


We cannot negotiate more until we have decided what is happening at


exit. Could he confirm that in choosing to not transpose the EU


Charter of fundamental rights, that it will have no impact on the actual


rights of the British people, they'd interpretation or enforcement in


court? I'm going to come to this later, but if she remembers, when


the White papers were presented to the House, I did say to my opposite


number but if there were any power is missing, to come to the


government, tell the House, and we will put that right. I have not had


a single comment since on that. I will make some progress and give way


later. I am conscious of the points made by the father of the House that


we are going to have tight time on this, and I will give way as much as


reasonable. Let me know talk through the main provisions. The first


clause of the bill, repealed to the European Communities Act on the day


we leave the European Union, ending supremacy of EU law on exit they.


When Harold Wilson led the debate here in May 1967, on the question of


the United Kingdom's entry of the European Community, he said it is


important to realise that community law is mainly concerned with


industrial and commercial activities with corporate bodies rather than


private individuals. By far the greatest part of domestic law would


remain unchanged after entry. I think the passage of time has shown


he was mistaken. European Union law touches on all aspects of our lives


in a far wider way than the draft of the European Communities Act could


have envisaged. This means the bill before us today has a difficult


task. It must rebuild United Kingdom law in a way that must make sense


outside the European Union. To do this, the first step the bill takes


is to preserve all domestic law we have made to implement EU


obligations. This mainly means preserving thousands of statutory


instruments to be made under the European Communities Act with


subjects ranging from aeroplane noise to zoo licensing. It also


extends to preserving what relates to the European Union. All 12,000


regulations will move to UK law on exit they. I have no doubt there is


much about EU law that can be improved, and I know that over time


this Parliament will look to improve it, but that is not the purpose of


this Bill. It simply brings European Union law into UK law to make sure


the rules are the same after exit. The bill ensures that any question


on the meaning of retained law... The approach maximises stability by


ensuring the meaning of the law does not change overnight, and only the


Supreme Court and the High Court of Justice should read -- the High


Court of judiciary in Scotland should do this. Any other approach


would actively cause uncertainty fossilise EU case law for ever.


Future decisions of the Court of justice will not end our courts, but


courts will have discretion to have regard to those decisions if they


find it appropriate to do so, in the same way that our courts might refer


to common jurisdiction such as Australia or Canada.


Can he explain why we're only getting eight days to discuss this


bill in committee, when the bill took us and had 22, and the


Maastricht Treaty had 20? I thank him for giving way. Given


the scale of the task that the first thing I would say to him


is to reference the Lisbon Treaty. It recreated European law on a major


basis. This does not do that. This does not aim to change law. This


aims to maintain the laws that we currently have and if he sees that


as any different, I will... I give way to the honourable gentleman. The


trouble with relying on secondary legislation is that secondary


legislation is uneventful and only gets 1.5 hours debate. Would it not,


in particular in relation to any secondary legislation under section


nine of this bill, be sensible to allow a new form of secondary


legislation where you can amend and you have substantial debate? Well,


in essence, the aim of the bill is to translate European law into UK


law and to ensure there are no problems arising from that, which


means references to you things we are no longer subordinate to, many


of these things will be relatively straightforward and simple. But the


point he should look at in the legislation is that it seeks to make


the type of legislation, whether it is an affirmative or negative


resolution, in proportion to that. If he wants to speak about this


further, I will have to talk to him. I will not reinvent the constitution


at the dispatch box. I give way. What conclusion should be electric


door about respect to democracy about other parties refusing to give


this well -- bill a second reading? I am not going to presume ill intent


from the start. What I say to everybody in this House is that the


electorate will draw their own conclusions on whether this is being


addressed in a sensible way to maintain British law in a way which


will enable that to happen in good time on our withdrawal from the


European Union, which is happening on a date, or whether it is being


used as a cynical exercise. It is not for us to decide on that, it is


a decision for the electorate to make and make it they will. I want


to make some way. Overall then, the Bill provides for a very significant


continuity in law but there are some elements that simply... In a moment.


In a moment. That would simply not make sense if they remain on the UK


Statute book once we have left the EU and in the years and decades to


come. It would not make sense, for example, for the bill to preserve


the supremacy of EU law or to make EU law supreme over future


legislation passed by this Parliament. Laws passed in these two


houses after exit they will take precedence over retained EU law. Mr


Speaker, we also do not believe it would make sense to retain the


Charter of fundamental rights. The charter only applies to the member


states was acting within the scope of EU law. We will not be a member


state Noble will be acting within the scope of EU law once we leave


the European Union. As I said to the House when I passed the bill, it is


not and never was the source of those rights. Those rights have


their origins elsewhere in domestic law or relate to international


treaties are obligations which the UK remains party to, for example,


the easy hate jar. Let me be clear, the absence to the charter will not


affect the substantive rights and I have said before that if anyone in


this House find the substantive right that is not carried forward


into UK law they should say so and we will deal with it. Into several


months since I said that, in the several months since I said that, no


one has yet brought to my attention something we have missed. It may be


that that will happen in the next two minutes but I will start with


the honourable lady and then I will come to you. I thank the Secretary


of State for giving way. He will know that the key issue is not what


ministers say the aim of the bill is but what the actual powers are that


are contained within it, so can he tell the House what safeguards they


are anywhere in the bill, in statute, that would prevent


ministers in future using Clause seven or claw nine or Clause 17 to


completely rewrite extradition policy and the demise of the


European arrest warrant without coming back to parliamentary primary


legislation? I will come back to the details in a moment but there are a


number of points including that we cannot impinge on the Human Rights


Act, which goes straight to the point she raised. I understand his


point about the charter because I agree with him that general


principles in the charter should be identical, although that does


suggest one does raise the question as to why the charter should go in


those circumstances, but it says quite clearly in schedule one that


after we have done this, there was no right of action in domestic law


on or after exit day based on a failure to comply with any of the


general principles of EU law. You must agree that that means that the


right of the individual to challenge on the basis of the principle of EU


law imported into our law by this act will no longer be possible. In


our own courts, forget about the European Court of Justice, in our


courts, and that seems to me to be the munition in the rights of the


individual and corporate entities? Well, I am afraid we are going to


have my old and their right honourable friend, a difference of


opinion. We will put in the library a letter on this specific issue


which we have already said but, but, before we go there, the simple truth


is that today, these laws, these rights, I should say, and he should


know as well as anybody, these rights originate from a whole series


of origins. Some from the British Government, from the EU, from the


Human Rights Act which we are continuing with. Why on earth we


need an extra layer of declaratory law, I don't know. It was brought in


under the Blair Government. Perhaps that explains why it was there. Now,


Mr Speaker, no, in a moment. I will make some progress and I will come


back to the lady. Mr Speaker, the conversion of EU law into UK law is


essential to ensure the UK leaves the EU in the smoothest way


possible. However, the action alone is not enough to ensure the statute


book continues to function. Many laws will no longer make sense. Many


laws oblige UK individuals, firms are public authorities to continue


to engage with the European Union in a way that's both absurd and


impossible for a country not within the European Union. Other laws will


leave the European Union institutions at the public


authorities in the United Kingdom, a role they would not be able to


perform or fulfil. The problems that would arise without making these


changes range from minor inconveniences to the disruption of


vital services we all rely on every day will stop in practical terms,


this ranges from a public authority being required to submit water


quality reports to the European Union to causing disruption from the


city by Rowe -- removing the supervision of credit agencies. It


is essential these issues are dealt with before we leave or we will be


in breach of our duties to produce clarity for our citizens. This is


Clause seven of the bill, the so-called correcting power. Unlike


section two, this goes straight to the point of the honourable lady


raised, unlike section two of European communities which can be


used to do pretty much anything in EU law, the correcting power is very


limited. It can only be used to deal with things related directly to our


withdrawal from the European Union. Ministers cannot use it simply to


alter laws they do not like. It is to adopt laws in a domestic context.


It is also restricted so it cannot be used to amend the Human Rights


Act, impose increased taxation or altar -- or change... There is also


a two-year limitation on this. Leaving the European Union presents


challenges that need a pragmatic solution. Using secondary


legislation to tackle challenges like these are not -- and not


unusual. Secondary legislation is a process of long standing with clear


and established roles in Parliament. The honourable lady. I am very


grateful to the Secretary of State for giving way. Following on from


the point made by the Honourable member from Beaconsfield, the


Secretary of State has asked for concrete examples of rights which


will be lost to UK citizens as an example of this act so I would like


to give him one and ask what is undertaking to ensure this will not


be lost. Earlier this summer, a man called John Wark relied on me EU


equality law to bring a successful challenge to a loophole which meant


employees could refuse to pay same-sex couples the same rights as


heterosexual couples and the supreme court agreed there was a loophole in


UK law which was a violation of the general principles of


non-discrimination in EU law. So Mr Walker was able to use his right of


action and a general principles of EU law to close that loophole so


that he and his husband can enjoy the same rights as a heterosexual


couple. That wouldn't be possible under this bill because, at the


right honourable gentleman said... Order. Order. This is a very lawyer


like intervention. I am looking for the?. This wouldn't be possible


under this bill because there is no right to sue. Will he give an


undertaking that he will close this loophole in the bill if we bring


forward an appropriate amendment? I think that will be brought forward


in the process of the bill's translation and if not... I am


sounding exactly by my undertaking, if not, she should come to me and we


will find a way of correcting the problem. No, no, with respect, we


have had one lengthy intervention. I've got to make some progress. Our


current estimate is that the UK Government will need to make between


801,000 statutory instruments to make ex-dash-mac 800 and 1000


statutory instruments to make this work. Let me contrast this to the


12,000 European Union regulations and 8000 domestic regulations,


20,000 pieces of law that have brought forward new policy is what


we have been members of the European Union. This one-off task, this


one-off task is very different to the kind of new law we have had from


the European Union in the last four years and is ultimately about


ensuring that power returns to this House. The people who complain about


using secondary legislation should remember, of that 20,000 pieces of


law, 8000 of them went through under secondary legislation, the remaining


12,000 when three without any involvement from this House at all


because they came as regulations, so they were changing the law rather


than maintaining the law. All of these changes must happen quickly to


maintain stability as we leave the European Union. Many of the changes


will be minor and technical, replacing references to European


Union law or to other member states. It would not make sense nor would it


be possible to make these numerous changes in primary legislation. Some


of the changes we bring forward would by their nature be more


substantial and demand more scrutiny. An example would be the


proposal to transfer a function currently organised by the


commission to a new domestic body that needs to be set up from


scratch. We hope to minimise the need for such bodies but where they


are needed, I readily accept that these changes need fuller


parliamentary scrutiny. That is why the bill sets clear criteria that


would trigger the use of the affirmative procedure, ensuring


debate and vote in both houses. Over the course of the two days we will


spend debating this bill, I am sure we will hear calls for the secondary


legislation to receive greater scrutiny, which the honourable


gentleman has already made, along the lines given to primary


legislation. I say to Honourable members that I'm clear that the way


to make significant changes is to primary legislation, significant


changes, and that is where the Queen 's speech set out plans for several


further bills to follow this one including on immigration, trade and


sanctions, bring in significant new policy changes is not the task at


hand. With this power, we are making corrections to the statute book


rather than bringing in new policies to take advantage of the


opportunities that are provided by the withdrawal from the EU. These


corrections need to be made to ensure we have a functioning statute


book. As far as we can see, the power we have proposed is the only


logical and feasible way to make these corrections. Our approach


remains the only viable plan that forward in this House. While we have


heard complaint on the benches opposite, we have not seen an


alternative. The essential premise of what he


argued this morning is an order to ensure a smooth ex-fit we need to


maintain as much of the status quote as possible. But this Bill goes


further. Looking at clauses five and six those changes would effectively


rule out being within the customs union and the single market for a


transitional period. That is the single biggest risk to our economy,


and that is what is contained in this Bill. Well, he's quite right in


one respect, that is clear Government policy. That is in fact


the decision taken by the British people last year, that they wanted


to leave the EU, which means leaving the single market and the customs


union, that point is clear. I know it is confusing on that side of the


House because the deputy lead Labour leader appears to have a different


view to the rest of the party, but let me make further progress after


that silly intervention. The Bill also contains a limited power to


implement the withdrawal agreement by statutory instrument if


necessary. In a moment. The Government's aspiration is to ensure


a new deep and special partnership with the EU. Under the Article 50


process, we are negotiating withdrawal of the EU. Provisions


will need to be implemented in domestic law and some will need to


be done by exit day. In a moment. Given the timetable set by Article


50 it is prudent to take this power now so we are ready if necessary to


move quickly to implement aspects of an agreement in domestic law. This


will be particularly important if negotiations conclude late in a


two-year period. This power will help to ensure the UK Government and


devolved administrations can implement the outcome of


negotiations. The power is limited and will only be available until


extra day at which point it will expire. It is aimed at making the


changes that need to be in place from day one of exit to ensure an


orderly withdrawal from the EU. I have listened patiently to the


Secretary of State on these regulations and delegated


legislation. It is not just standard. I would like the Secretary


of State to say something about the status of the legislation made under


clause seven which gives it the status of an Act of Parliament. This


is an attempt to oust review. I would like him to elaborate upon


that very condition. I am afraid it is not correct, and this point was


made by another Member, about the ability to change bits of primary


legislation. The simple truth is that that is a standard set of words


used by these, the 2002 enterprise Act has it, Labour Party acts have


it, and it is making sure nothing in the Bill prevents the ability to go


through a transition phase, for example, and into the next phase of


negotiation. Forgive me, I will make progress. The use of the power will


depend on the contents of the withdrawal agreement. For example


the power could, depending on the agreement, be used to clarify the


state of cases in the CJ JEE. It could also be used to enable


ventilatory approval for UK products pending at the point of exit in line


with the proposal in the UK's position paper this summer. These


sorts of fairly technical but important issues need to be capable


of being changed. I will give way in one second. We've had already


committed to bringing forward a motion on the final agreement to be


approved by both houses before it is concluded. That vote is in addition


to Parliamentary scrutiny of any statutory instruments with promoters


under this power and also in addition to the enormous debate and


scrutiny applied to the primary legislation to cover all and every


major policy change around our exit from the EU. So Parliament will be


followed involved in taking this forward Andrew withdrawal agreement.


I will give way. One of the most offensive kinds of provision --


defensive provision that appear is the Henry VIII clause as we call it,


not my words but the wise words of my Right Honourable Friend the


Member for Stone in 2013. There have been long-standing real concerns


about statutory instruments for many years and right across these


pensions. So to allay those concerns would my Right Honourable Friend


look at what is called triaging of these proposed statutory


instruments. Many thousands will be completely uncontroversial and can


be dealt with quickly and efficiently, but those which really


be considered fully by this chamber in this place, that could then


happen if we have this triaging. Would he please agree to look at


that principle? It will solve many of the difficulties with this Bill


across all these benches. It won't be many thousands, it is between 800


and thousand as the estimate has come down because we have taken out


much of the most serious legislation in primary legislation. I will


happily talk to her about mechanisms for making sure this is a fully


democratic and open process, and let's come back to it. I talked to


her about it in the build process. Forgive me, I am trying to hold back


on too many interventions but I will discuss it. Now... I will give way.


On the powers in clause nine to implement the withdrawal agreement,


is the Secretary of State able to give the House and assurance that


those powers will not be exercised until Parliament has had an


opportunity to vote on the agreement? Just thinking through the


logic of that, it seems to me logical. If you will allow me a few


moments to review the matter, it seems perfectly possible, but I


won't do it on the fly in case I missed something. He is right. Let


me say to the House, he is right about one thing in that there are


two issues run together, the question of the overall judgment on


the outcome and any withdrawal arrangements. The withdrawal


arrangements are most likely scum Blissett arrives late. He will


remember when we talked about how the House will be able to review the


negotiated agreement, but we said we would make the best endeavours and


expect to get it to the House before anybody else does that. That is what


we intend but we had to use that form of words because we were unsure


about timing. I will come back to him on that matter. I want to move


onto another subject if I may, which is the question of devolution,


relating directly to some of the things the opposition have been


saying. Let me now deal with the Bill's approach to. The overall


approach of this Bill is to provide continuity wherever possible at the


point of exit, not seek to initiate reforms immediately. That is the


approach that guides devolution provisions as well. Let me be clear,


this Government has a strong track record on devolution. Our commitment


to strengthen devolution settlement is clear in the statute book, most


recently the Wales Act of 2017 and the Scotland Act 2016, which


remember correctly gave ?12 billion of tax raising powers to the


Scottish Parliament. So not such small things. Leaving the EU allows


us to ensure decision-making sits closer to people than ever before.


We expect a significant increase in the decision-making power of the


devolved institutions. The current devolution settlements have always


created common frameworks within the UK by reflecting the context of the


UK's EU membership so in areas subject to EU law, all parts of the


UK currently follow common laws and principles even when matters are


otherwise devolved, for example, England, Wales, Scotland and


Northern Ireland each pass their own laws relating to food policy but


each nation has to ensure they comply with EU rules on food


hygiene. When we leave the EU it is not in the interests of people and


businesses living and working in the UK for all those arrangements to


disappear or for there to be new barriers to living doing business in


our country. The Bill provides certainty and continuity for people


across the UK by recreating in UK law the common frameworks currently


provided by EU law and providing that devolved institutions cannot


modify them. It also ensures that every decision the devolved


administrations could take before exit date, they can still take after


exit day. This is a transitional arrangement which ensures certainty


and continuity whilst the UK undertakes negotiations with the EU


on its future relationship, and the UK Government administrations


discuss precisely where we need to retain common frameworks within the


UK. I give way. What he is therefore describing is not devolution but


preserving powers back to this Parliament, a fundamental breach of


the principles of the original Scotland Act. Can he confirm that


any statutory instruments that go through this House is affecting the


devolved administrations will be as a result of this Bill, subject to


legislative consent in those administrations? I have said already


we will be putting out a consent motion. Let's come back to the core


of this argument. Everything that belongs to the EU now belongs to the


devolved administrations so this clearly doesn't work, as we will


come to in a minute. These common frameworks will be important as they


enable us to manage shared resources such as the sea, rivers and air, and


enable us to continue functioning in the UK's internal market. They will


allow us to strike trade deals and provide access to justice in cases


with a cross-border element. This includes our future relationship


with the EU. For example, they will mean a business in Wales known as it


only needs to comply with one set of food labelling and safety rules to


sell to the rest of the UK, or a farmer in Scotland can sell


livestock and other parts of the UK safe in the knowledge that the same


animal health rules apply across that geographic area. Certainty on


common approaches is critical for the day to day life of people in the


UK on the day we exit the EU and into the future. The Honourable


Gentleman is trying to get in. If this is a smooth transition I'm not


sure how much worse it is going to get. But on the points he races, he


makes a good case for the EU. I don't see any reference here to


immigration powers Scotland was promised during the referendum


process. Could he explain? I don't remember any such promise. What was


interesting in this, when I was going through the list of practical


things that apply to the citizens they are supposed to represent, what


do we here? They don't care. What they are interested in is devolution


and political power for themselves, not the interests of their own


constituents. So just as important are those areas where we do not need


common approaches in future. We do not expect to need to maintain a


framework in every area of the EU is mandated. We can assure our common


approach is better suited the UK and devolution settlements and therefore


the Bill provides a mechanism to release policy areas where no


frameworks are needed. This Bill gives time for us to work together


with the devolved administrations to determine where we will continue to


need common frameworks in future, and crucially, it will not create


unnecessary short-term change that negatively affects people and


businesses. Before the summer recess my Right Honourable Friend the first


Secretary of State wrote to the Scottish and Welsh Government to


begin intensive discussions over where frameworks are and are not


needed. In the current absence of the Northern Ireland Executive


equivalent to gauge Mint has taken place with the Northern Ireland


civil service -- equivalent engagement. We will bring forward


further detail on this process in due course for Parliament to decide.


Certainly in devolved legislation affected by the EU X it it is also


vital that certainty -- that there is certainty. The key powers in this


Bill are conferred upon devolved administration so the task of


preparing a devolved statute book for exit can rightly be led from


Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Government is committed


to ensuring the powers work for the administrations and legislatures.


For instance I have already confirmed we were always consult on


corrections to EU law. I firmly believe that the outcome of this


process will be a significant increase in decision-making power of


the devolved administrations. It will mean decisions and power sit in


the right place and closer to people than ever before, and crucially,


this Bill means UK businesses and citizens have confidence and


certainty in the laws to allow them to live and operate across the UK as


we exit the EU. As the Prime Minister said... I have given way to


poor ones. As the Prime Minister said in January, the historic


decision taken by the British people in June last year was not a


rejection of the common values and history we share with the EU. But it


was a reflection of the desire of British people to control our own


laws and ensure these reflect the country and people we want to be.


This Bill is an essential building block for this which lays the


foundation for a functioning statute book which future policies and laws


can be debated and altered. This Bill is itself not the place for


those changes to the frameworks we inherit from the EU. We will have


more opportunities to debate those before and after we leave. I hope


the Honourable members on all sides will recognise we have acted


responsibly by prioritising first and foremost a functioning statute


book. In bringing forward this Bill we are ensuring the smooth as


possible exit from the EU, which enables continued stability of the


UK's legal system and maximises certainty for businesses, consumers


and individuals across the UK, and as we exit and seek a new deep and


special partnership with EU, the Bill ensures we will do so from a


position with the same standards and rules.


I hope everyone in this House recognises the bill's is the true


nature. It is a foundation on which we will legislate for years. We have


just had this morning the proposals from the opposition on their


proposal to move a reasoned amendment. I have just emphasised


the critical nature of this bill. A vote for the honourable member's


amendment is a vote against this bill, a vote for a chaotic exit from


the European Union. The amendment suggests... The amendment suggests


that this bill provides some sort of blank cheque to ministers. That's a


fundamental, that's a fundamental misrepresentation of Parliament and


our democratic recess. Using the bill's powers does not mean avoiding


Parliamentary scrutiny. Secondary legislation is still subject to


parliamentary oversight using well-established procedures. In no


way does it provide unilateral powers to the Government. On rights,


the Government agrees that the exit cannot lead to weaker rights in the


UK. We have been clear we want to ensure workers' rights are protected


and enhanced as we leave the European Union. This bill provides


for existing legislation of this area to be maintained and then after


we leave European Union it will be right for Parliament to determine


the proper levels of protection. We have also spoken about devolution.


Finally, the argument that this undermines the implementation of our


new arrangements with the European Union is completely wrong. The bill


provides a clear basis for negotiation by ensuring continuity


and clarity in our laws without prejudice to negotiations. Without


legislation, a smooth and orderly exit is not possible. We cannot wait


the completion of negotiations for -- before ensuring legal certainty.


To do so or to delay and oppose the bill would be reckless in the


extreme. Mr Speaker, I have, I have in the past witnessed the Labour


Party on European business take the most cynical, unprincipled approach


to legislation that I have ever seen. They are now attempting to do


the same today and the British people will not forgive them if the


end of their process is to delay or destroy the process by which we


leave the European Union. Order. The question is that the bill be now


read a second time. I must inform the House I have selected the


amendment in the name of the Leader of the Opposition. I remained a


house that of course front bench speakers can speak without a time


limit and they have to be sensitive to the number of people who want to


intervene on them. So I merely note, and colleagues can make their own


assessment, that on current progress, probably somewhat fewer


than half of those who wish to speak today will be able to do so.


Colleagues obviously need to help each other. Circular Starmer. The


Secretary of State is keen to portray this bill as a technical


exercise converting EU law into our law without raising any serious


constitutional issues about the role of Parliament. Nothing could be


further from the truth. Mr Speaker, let me start with Clause nine. The


article 15 negotiations that the Secretary of State and by Minister


Noel are among the most difficult and significant in recent history.


Under Article 50, the agreement will cover all of the withdrawal


arrangements and take account of our future relationship between the UK


and the EU. A backwards look and forwards look and something which


may last for decades. We know from phase one it will have to cover EU


citizens, Northern Ireland, UK citizens in Europe, and money. Phase


two of course will cover security, cross-border crime, civil justice,


fisheries, farming, Gibraltar, you name it. We hope it will be in the


Article 50 agreement. We want that to succeed. We need an agreement.


And of course it will include our future trading arrangements. Hugely


important, including any transitional arrangements, if there


are such arrangements, and much more. Arguably, the arrangements


will, and these are not my words but I will come back to them, extend to


every facet of national life. That Article 50 agreement will be voted


on. But it will then have to be implemented. A colossal task likely


to involve a whole host of policy choices and require very widespread


changes to our law on any view. So how will that be done? Enter Clause


nine. Amen De Schepper Minister well, it's very likely to have to be


enforced before exit day because otherwise there will be a gap, so


that means the whole of the agreement being implemented under


Clause nine. The whole of the agreement, including transitional


measures. It can't be implemented after exit day otherwise there will


be a gap. Let's be clear about how wide Clause nine years. We've had


some discussion about Henry VIII. Let's read subsection two.


Regulations under this provision on the withdrawal bill may make any


precision that could be made by an act of Parliament, it's true Henry


VIII, it can modify Acts of Parliament, in brackets, including


modifying this act. The delegated legislation can amend the primary


act itself. That is as wide as I've seen in my experience. What are the


limits? You might think, what are the limits, what other safeguards?


Well, Clause 9.3. You can't impose taxation, retrospective provisions,


while they are usually a very bad idea, create a criminal offence or


affect the Human Rights Act. Everything else is on limits under


Clause nine. Everything else is on limits under Clause nine. I will


just make this point and then of course I'll give way. Surely then


all Clause nine, and I'm using this as an example, you would expect


somewhere in here and enhanced procedure, a safeguard, surely not


just ordinary old delegated legislation? Surely something when


it is as wide as this. I will make this point and then of course give


way to a number of people when I have done it. What are the


procedures? Are they enhanced? No. The opposite. Schedule seven, part


two deals with Clause nine. It makes it clear that unless the delegated


legislation creates a public authority or the function of a


public authority, affect a criminal offence or the power to make


legislation, it is to be dealt with by what? The negative procedure for


statutory instruments, the least possible scrutiny. So the widest


possible power, no safeguards, channelled in to the level of least


scrutiny. That is absolutely extraordinary. And let's be clear


what that means. Because I am sure the Secretary of State and others


will say, well, notwithstanding the number of statutory instruments


under this legislation, they could be called up and Donald, Parliament


has its say. I looked up the last time a negative procedure statute


was annulled in this House. 38 years ago. I don't know how many people


have been in this House for 38 years, but many of us will have not


had the opportunity... So much, so much for taking back control. And


there's no point the Secretary of State or the Prime Minister saying,


well, we wouldn't use these powers, take our assurance. If you wouldn't


use them, they are unnecessary. And if they are unnecessary, they


shouldn't be put before this House for approval today. I will give way.


I thank the honourable gentleman for giving way. The case he is making is


for an amendment to Clause nine. He is not making a case against the


principle of this bill which is what second reading is about and yet he


and his party are determined to vote against the principle of the bill.


He used -- he ought to make that case. I have only just started. I


give way. The Secretary of State made great play that this bill is


necessary for certainty but given the legal situation that my right


honourable friend has just excellently elucidated, would he


agree with me that the powers that this gives Secretary of State Debra


regulating every aspect of our lives means that this bill is a charter


for uncertainty for ordinary British people? I wait and I'm going to


attempt to demonstrate that. I will press on. I know people want to


intervene. I hear what the Speaker says about the number of people who


want to speak and I will try to take them at intervals of that is


satisfactory to the House. The same approach to Clause nine is taken to


Clause seven for dealing with deficiencies arising from withdrawal


and under Clause eight complying with international legislation. All


channelled into the negative procedure with the least possible


scrutiny. The giant sidestepped a Parliamentary scrutiny on the most


important issues of our day. But let me top it off, if you think that's


bad, and I do, try Clause 17. Try Clause 17. A minister of the Crown


may by regulations make such provisions as a Minister considers


appropriate in consequence of this act. That's it. Anything in


consequence of the act can be done under Clause 17. Again, making it


absolutely clear, this is a proper robust Henry VIII. Look at the


Clause two, the power to make laws and does one may be exercised by


power and any other enactment. That means amending primary legislation.


And this, subsection three, in case anybody is in doubt, in subsection


two, enactment does not include primary legislation passed made


after the end of the session in which this act is passed. So it can


amend any legislation whatsoever, primary legislation, including


legislation in this session. Everything in the Queen's speech


that's coming down the track can be amended by delegated legislation


under Clause 17. I've never come across such a wide power. I've seen


consequential powers. The Secretary of State will no doubt point out


other statutes which have similar powers. I have looked at them, I


have never seen one as wide as this. Don't just take my word for it.


Don't take my word for it. The Secretary of State a minute ago said


nobody could suggest this was a blank legislative check for the


Government. Nobody could. Let me read to you the Hansard Society, not


a political body, not the opposition, the Hansard Society


about Clause 17. I quote, such an extensive power is hedged in by the


fact that any provision must somehow relate to the withdrawal from the


EU, but given that this will arguably extend to every facet of


national life, if it was granted, it would in effect, their words, hand


the Government a legislative blank cheque. Hansard's words. I need to


just complete this part of my presentation, if I may. A


legislative blank cheque. So, what's the scope and extent of this?


What is the scope and extent of this? How many pieces of legislation


are we concerned with? The White Paper suggested 800-1000, the


majority of which will go in the negative procedure route. I don't


think the White Paper could or did take into account the further


instruments necessary to implement the withdrawal agreement, which


could be very many more, well over 1000 pieces of delegated


legislation, with the least scrutiny possible. I will complete this point


then give way. I was glad to see the Prime Minister was here earlier.


Yesterday, during Prime Minister's Questions, the Prime Minister told


the House, and I quote, "The Government's approach to this Bill


has been endorsed by the House of Lords Constitution committee".


That's what she said yesterday at the dispatch box. I went and read,


again, that report last night. I have doubts about that endorsement.


But... When I finish this point. But when I is she, and the Secretary of


State will know, this morning, the House of Lords produced its further


report on the Bill published this morning. It concludes, I quote,


executive powers conferred by this Bill are unprecedented and


extraordinary and raise constitutional issues about the


separation of powers between Parliament and Government". It goes


on to say, this is the committee the Prime Minister was yesterday citing,


"The number, range and overlapping nature of broad delegated powers


would fundamentally challenge constitutional balances of power


between Parliament and Government and represent a significant and


unacceptable transfer of legal competence". Far from an endorsement


it is an explicit and damning criticism of the Government 's


approach. I will give Wade. Can I absolutely agree with my Right


Honourable Friend for pointing out what a joke this Bill is, setting


out all these supposed safeguards, and correctly he points out that the


ministers can make regulations to modify this Act. We are disappearing


down the Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole of legislation, and will he


also agreed that it doesn't matter when ministers opposite, the Prime


Minister, secretary of State of state say, trust us, we won't use


the regulars, because they could be here today, gone tomorrow. The


Honourable Member for the 18th century in Somerset could be Prime


Minister, we could be in hand is totally with all these powers. I am


grateful for that intervention. CHEERING. Order, I think we can


short-circuit this, the Honourable Gentleman for North East Somerset


has observed that the 18th-century is altogether too recent for him.


There have been two interventions. Could he go back to clause nine? In


relation to what is being called the divorce Bill, the amount of money we


may have debated the EU on leaving the EU. Is it his view that under


clause nine, that could be agreed by a minister, by Government, without


this place having any say over the amount of money paid at all? If it


doesn't come under clause nine it will certainly come under clause 17.


I give Wade and apologise for taking the wrong order. Thank you very much


for giving way. As a new Member, I also look for advice on how


Parliament has looked at statutory instruments and I also saw that the


last time the instruments were annulled by this House was back in


1979. The issue was on the cost of paraffin, and I remember 1979 and


the high cost of fuel. It was a significant issue. But given that


the Secretary of State has said in response to the intervention from


the Member for Brock Stowe that he is prepared to consider a sifting


process which means that serious issues do come back to this House,


what is your alternative? What are you proposing? What is your


amendment? Being made for the first time today. These points have been


made since the White Paper was published. That was in March. The


Bill was published in July, there have been numerous reports since


then, and I raised that the time the significant issues I am raising now,


and there has been no move from the Government. I will give way then I


will move on. The key point about section nine is that it allows the


Government to have asked Parliament to allow it to alter the Bill itself


by secondary legislation once it has been enacted. If you look through


the history of the 20th century, you will see no Bill that has sought to


do that, not in time of war or civil emergency, and in fact for every


single emergency Powers Act, they have expressly said they shall not


be a power for ministers to alter primary legislation. I am grateful


for that intervention. I am on my feet answering the last


intervention. It powerfully makes the point that this Act is


unprecedented in its scope. It is significant because the Secretary of


State will point to some of the safeguards under the Act for the


exercise of some of these powers. But if the delegated legislation can


amend the Act, then notions of exit day, how far the dead legation


legislation goes and what procedures are used could be amended by the Act


delegated legislation. I will press on. Let me turn from Parliamentary


involvement to the protection of rights. Many rights and protections


derived from the EU are protected in delegated legislation under the 1972


European Communities Act. Because they are underpinned by EU


provisions, they have enjoyed enhanced protection. 44 years worth.


They include some very important rights. The working time rights of


people at work, the rights of part-time and fixed term workers,


the transfer of undertakings provision which affects everybody


who is at work if their company is taken over, so their contracts are


preserved, something we all believe him. All health and safety


provisions have been by delegated legislation under the 1972 Act. It


didn't matter that it was just delegated legislation because they


had enhanced protection because of the 72 Act and our membership of the


EU. The same is equally true of important environmental rights and


protections for consumers. Under this Bill, the Secretary of State


says they survive, and I accept that, and he does have a condiment


to rights at work, but they don't survive with their enhanced status.


They survive only in delegated form. From the date of this Bill, they are


amendable by delegated legislation. All of those rights at work, those


environmental provisions, consumer rights, they are protected only...


They are not protected from delegated legislation. I will give


way in that order. On the specific point of health and safety


protections, he knows of course that there is in fact in 1974 statute,


the health and safety at work Act which gives not just employees


safety protections but also members of the public affected by conditions


in the workplace. Surely that in itself acts as the primary


protection to workers in this country under health and safety


provisions. White I am afraid it doesn't. LAUGHTER.


There are other revelations which postdate baton but doesn't deal with


any other rights. -- the postdate that. He is making an excellent


speech. On the issue of environmental standards would he


agree with me that there is another problem which is the governance gap,


in other words with the lack of the European Court of Justice and


commission there is nothing to enforce environmental standards,


therefore we need a new legal architecture. Judicial review is not


enough. I am grateful for that intervention because one thing that


is not on the face of the statue is any enforcement provision for rights


currently enforced in one or other way through EU institutions or even


reporting obligations. It is fair to say that there is the provision in


the Act for the creation of public authorities by delegated


legislation, and it may be that that could be used for remedies, but it


is by no means clear on the face of the Bill and I think that is an


important deficiency. Let me complete this point. Does it matter


that these rights have lost their enhanced protection? Yes, it does.


Taking back control, obviously, carries with it that Parliament can


change those rights, as the Secretary of State rightly set out.


This is to change them by delegated legislation, not primary


legislation. That is an important distinction. Does it matter, would


any anybody have a go, surely not on the 21st-century. Well... Foreign


Secretary, June, 2014, calling for an end to backbreaking employment


regulations, specifically collective reduction in Mac redundancies


directive. The International Development Secretary during the


referendum campaign calling for the Government to halve the amount of


protection given to British workers after Brexit. The international


trade Secretary, I am addressing the question, whether it is conceivable


that a Conservative Government change this -- Government might


change this. I reading out the statements of three Cabinet members.


International trade secretary, Fabbri, 2012, and I know the


Secretary of State heard the quote this morning, to restore Britain


Cosma competitiveness we must begin by deregulating the Labour market,


political objections must be overridden. It is too difficult to


hire and fire and difficult to take on employees. It is unsustainable


but to believe workplace rights should be untouchable while output


and employment are cyclical. This Secretary of State has a proud


record on human rights and protections of people at work, but


these are Cabinet colleagues, and this power in this Bill allows these


rights to be overridden by delegated legislation. I will give way. Isn't


there a fundamental contradiction in what he has been saying? A moment


ago he was worrying that power would be lost from this House. Now he is


saying power should in fact be with the EU. Isn't this the fundamental


point of this Bill, that it is better that laws should be made by


our Government and our Parliament than an elected EU bureaucracy? Mr


Speaker, I am obviously a very bad communicator. I thought I was


suggesting that work praise and environmental and consumer rights


should only be capable of being taken away by primary legislation.


If there is any doubt, I can assure the Honourable Member when I say


primer legislation I mean legislation in this House. I thought


that was taken as read. Doesn't the last intervention point to the


fundamental misunderstanding some people have about this Bill, and I


am afraid the Secretary of State mentioned it in his intervention.


The point is whether the UK is going to become a rule take up rather than


a rule maker. Our membership of the EU has allowed us to influence the


directors of regulations which have then been taken on board in this


House and through our laws. What we are doing in this Bill is saying,


not repealing, we are reintroducing European legislation into this


country contrary to those who wanted to leave the EU taking back control.


I am grateful for that intervention and agree with it. Can I move onto


other rights, because they are dealt with more severely. Clause 54


singles out the Charter of fundamental rights for extinction.


There are thousands of provisions being converted into our law, and


they will have to be modified in some cases to arrive in our law.


Only one provision in the thousands and thousands have been singled out


for extinction. The Charter of fundamental rights. As was argued an


article published yesterday the principles of the Charter provide


essential safeguard for individuals and businesses, and that has been


particularly important in the field of LGBT rights, children's rights


and the rights the elderly. Does it matter, says the Secretary of State,


tell me why it matters? I've got here the High Court judgment in the


case of David Davies MP, Tom Watson MP, and others, versus the Secretary


of State for the Home Department, the then Home Secretary being now


the Prime Minister. The backbencher David Davies bringing to court the


now Prime Minister. He was challenging, he will recall, the


provisions of the data retention investigatory Powers Act 2014, and


he was very concerned that it would impinge on the ability of MPs to


have confidential communications from their constituents, a pointy


continued into the debate we had a year or two ago. In his argument, he


cited the Charter. LAUGHTER. His lawyers said the charter was


important... His lawyers made the argument that the charter was


important because it went further than the European Convention of


human rights and therefore was added protection. I won't read-out


paragraph 80 of the judgment, which I'm sure the Secretary of State is


familiar with, but as he knows, the court found in his favour that that


was right, the charter did enhance his right side for that reason it


distinguished -- it rejected the arguments of a distinguished QC who


was the Prime Minister's QC. I am going to complete this point. So,


when he says, will it make any difference? Yes, here it is. I


suspect that the Secretary of State was still on the bench is further


behind him, he would be talking to me over a cup of coffee, with


others, about how we fiercely ensure that Clause 5.4 of this bill came


out. I'm going to make progress, because I do know lots of people


want to come in. I'm going to make progress. I give way. I'm most


grateful to the right honourable gentleman, as he makes a very


important point. I think, reading the mind of my right honourable


friend, why he said, does it matter? That's because he would insist that


the general principles of EU law being preserved wood repay it, but


if they're not judge a suitable because they are not founded in our


courts, that need would evaporate. Exactly the point that the right


honourable friend -- member made earlier on. To remove the right to


do something through remedy means you have achieved nothing. Will the


honourable gentleman be good enough to explain why it is that other


distinguished gentleman, namely Tony Blair and Lord Goldsmith, fought so


resolutely to exclude the charter of fundamental rights from the Lisbon


Treaty and furthermore failed because their protocol did not


actually work. No. I spent 20 plus years as a human rights lawyer


interpreting and applying acts from the charter where it made a real


difference to people's lives, as the Secretary of State will know. Let me


move on to devolved powers. At the moment, devolved powers are limited


and upon withdrawal, it ought to be that the devolved institutions would


have power over things falling within their devolved fields but


Clause 11 prevents that and diverts powers which ought to go to


Edinburgh, Cardiff or Belfast to London where they are to be hoarded.


Fundamentally the wrong approach but totally consistent with the


Government approach of grabbing power and avoiding scrutiny. On that


topic, let me deal with exit date, a crucially important day under the


bill. It's the day upon which the European Communities Act is


repealed, it's the day upon which the role of the European Court of


Justice is extinguished in our law. That matters hugely. Whatever your


long-term view, that matters hugely. It matters particularly for


transitional matters. I heard the Secretary of State say this morning


that he did want an arrangement for transitions which was as close as


possible to the current arrangement. I think he knows in his heart of


hearts that will almost certainly involve a role for the European


Court of Justice, he would say temporarily. He knows that. So the


exit date, the date on which the role of the court is extinguished,


is crucially important. Without it, you can't transition on the terms


that the Secretary of State was suggesting this morning. Well, you


might not be able to, and he knows it. Control over exit date is


therefore hugely important, Mr Speaker. Control over exit date. Who


has control? Bring back control. You might think Parliament on this very


important issue. But, no, enter Clause 14.


Exit day means such a day as the Minister of Crown may by regulations


appoint. And the sole power of the Minister. Anybody simply passing


this bill is prepared to be a spectator on the question of what


the transitional measures should be and how they operate. That is a huge


issue. The Secretary of State said it was silly for me to raise this


issue earlier in relation to the transitional relations insofar as


they may relate to us continuing to be in a customs union and single


market. If this bill is enacted and we are outside of the ECJ and we are


not subject to EU law, there we are effectively ruling out single market


and Customs union for the transition. How does that give


stability and certainty to British businesses? This is the conundrum


the Secretary of State and this bill has got into. If exit date is March


2019, and it's very difficult to see how you transition on terms similar


to those that we are run. What do you do? You could push exit day two


years down the line, because it can be chosen. Well, if you don't do


that, but you recognise that the ECJ is necessary, you end up repealing


what was once the repeal Bill to put it back in again. That is the extent


of the absurd powers in this bill. I will give way. I am very grateful to


the right honourable gentleman for giving way. He's making an


outstandingly concise and forensic speech asserting the difficulties in


this bill and he's drawn attention to the problem with the definition


of exit day. Does that problem also feed into the delegated legislative


powers, because Clause 77 says ministers can make regulations under


this section after the end of period of two years beginning with exit


day. Now, if exit day is going to disappear down the line as he has


indicated, does that not mean the power to make delegated legislation


will continue for even longer than the Government says? It certainly


could. The only way out of that is to have multiple exit days. You


might think I'm joking. But somebody who drafted this bill thought of


that because that is conceivable. Multiple exit days, all chosen by a


minister, not by Parliament. Mr Speaker, let me draw to a conclusion


the combined effect of the provisions of this bill would reduce


MPs to spectators as power pours into the hands of ministers and the


executive. It's an unprecedented power grab. Rule by decree is not a


misrepresentation. It's an affront to Parliament and to accountability.


The name of this bill was changed from the Great Repeal Bill to the EU


withdrawal bill. The word great should have been preserved but it


should have been changed to the great power grab bill. Labour voted


for the Article 50 act. That's because we accept the referendum


result. As a result, the UK is leaving the EU. That we are leaving


is settled. How we leave is not. This bill invites us to surrender


all power and influence over that question to the Government and to


ministers. That would betray everything that we are sent here to


do. Unless the Government makes significant concessions before we


vote on Monday, Labour has tabled a reasonable amendment to vote against


the bill. Thank you, Mr Speaker. The original question was that the bill


now be read a second time, since when an amendment has been proposed


as on the order paper. The question is that the amendment be made. Mr


Kenneth Clarke. Mr Speaker, the spokesman just reminded us that this


bill was trailed for a very long time as the Great Repeal Bill, which


was a very unlikely title. Fortunately, when it comes here, it


repeals hardly anything at all, which is one blessing. But one thing


it does repeal is the European Communities Act of 1972, which is a


particular irony for myself and no doubt for the honourable member full


ball so that as well, as we well remember that act and I then was a


Government whip, engineering mainly by working with the Jenkins faction


of the Labour Party how we were able to get that vote through against the


Eurosceptics who were then on our backbenchers. So it's an irony that


a complete mirror image debate presents itself to me rather many


years later. But my starting point is again where the right honourable


gentleman just finished. I have to accept that we are going to leave


the European Union. I accept that because this House, passed by a


large majority, the resolution to enact Article 50. I argued and voted


against it, but it went through and it is idle to pretend that


politically now it's going to be possible for that to be reversed.


But the question now is how we do so. Now, I quite accept the basic


premise of my right honourable's friend the Secretary of State, that


technical legislation is going to be required to make sure it is


practicable to get a smooth legal transition. I don't think that this


piece of legislation confines itself to that aim, as has just been said.


The result is that a bill of this kind is necessary and I think we're


going to have devote for it. But the question is, is this particular form


of the bill remotely acceptable? Now, I studied the amendments put


down by the official opposition and indeed by large numbers of other


members. And my conclusion was that I found myself agreeing with the


overwhelming majority of the sentiments and opinions being put


forward in all those amendments. The one thing that gave me a problem was


they all begin with declines to give a second reading to the bill, which


does give rise to the problem is that it would stop any possibility


of making the changes required. But, I have to say this. Mind as I am at


the moment to contemplate voting for second reading, I am going to need


some assurances before we get there, in particular, that there is going


to be sufficient movement to some of the unanswerable points that are


being made about Parliamentary democracy and a smooth transition to


whatever the alternative is for this bill to be anything other than a


wrecking piece of legislation if it proceeds forward. I could consult


myself with the thought, I haven't decided yet, I'm actually going to


listen to the debate, which is a very rare feature in this House, but


I am going to listen to the debate, because of course if we were to


defeat the second reading, well, the Government would be obliged to bring


back another bill to try to achieve the same purpose and if the


Government isn't going to move in the next two days of debate, well I


think we may have to force it to go back to the drawing board and try


again as to how to produce a bill which is consistent with our


parliamentary traditions and actually does give this House the


control that leaders of the Leave Campaign during the referendum kept


telling the British public they were anxious to see. Now, I'm not going


to give way because there are large numbers of people wanting to speak


and I just want to touch briefly on this time constraint. When we sat


through the European Communities Act, I've no doubt the honourable


member for Boll Sauber like me sat three weeks and weeks, days and days


-- the honourable member for Bolsover that the days and days of


debate. It was not constrained by this Blairite notion of family


friendly hours and timetables and all this kind of thing. I don't want


to go back to the all-night filibustering and some of the


nonsense that led to those practices being discredited. That is not


suitable in the 21st-century. But this Government began the process by


trying to argue that the Royal prerogative enabled it not even to


bring Article 50 before the House and its been trying to reduce


Parliamentary scrutiny and votes ever since the whole thing started.


So, let me give a first simple example. I raised it with the


Speaker a few moments ago the question of the five o'clock rule.


Apparently we've all got to stop at five o'clock this afternoon. Well,


it would reassure me about the Government's intentions if the


opportunity was taken to lift it now. The Leader of the House only


have two rise at some time in the next hour or so and save the five


o'clock rule is not going to be invoked to day and all these


constraints on time which we are all facing will not be a problem. But, I


hope the timetable motion for the bill also does not try to confine


debate to a comic number of days, because the right honourable


gentleman's speech a moment ago has shown how complex some of the


debates are going to be. We don't want all to be told we've got to


take apart in legal analysis in five minutes flat all be cut out by some


quite unnecessary timetable. We've got at least until the end of 2019


to get these procedures right. Now, briefly there are two broad


issues. One of which I will leave alone. One of which is going to


dominate today, the Henry VIII clause, the sweeping powers, the


extraordinary nature of this legislation. I won't try to compete


with what with respect was the brilliant speech of the Right


Honourable friend leads for the opposition and I hope the next two


days of debate will hear some reply. I'm sure my honourable friend the


member for Beaconsfield will touch on that. My own information on


clause seven and clause 17 is not up to the standards of what has just


been demonstrated. I will then say one thing to my right honourable


friend and he's colleagues who try to reassures what takes begged in


response to that. I'm told that conversations will be held with my


right honourable friend and right honourable friend before Broxton.


Delighted about that. We are told that we will have reassurances about


her ministers are going to use these powers. My right honourable friend


defended the wording he got and didn't make the faintest concession.


I was talking about the concessions on devolution or the bigger concerns


about whether we are going to fritter away Parliamentary democracy


in this house by Racing the -- passing the bill in its present


form. My right honourable friend is one of the members I would trust to


seek to deliver what he is offering to ours. The reality as someone has


said is we are all transient in politics. He will come under


pressure from some of his colleagues. We have no idea who will


be in office in 18 months' time in any particular post. The letter of


the law will determine to what scope there is for parliamentary scrutiny.


I don't want more assurances, I don't want more charm, what I want


is positive amendments. Changes. Its reputation on this point of view if


it takes the lead and produces the amendments and answers the points


already made by the Right honourable and learn it member who has just


spoken for the opposition and reassured us that the drafting was a


misunderstanding and that better drafting can make it the no policy


change, technically necessary bill that I would quite happily support.


The second issue very briefly is the condition of staying in the single


market and staying in the customs union during the transitional


period. Of course we're going to have a transitional period. Of


course it's got to be a smooth transition. Of course by the end of


2019 were not going to negotiate a basis for future trading


arrangements. I do think that just as the government has got to move,


just as the opposition has moved. I made a speech on the Queen's speech


debate explaining why I was in favour of staying in the single


market, staying in the customs union, at least for the transitional


period, and I Benat and said the various arguments that are routinely


thrown out. I won't repeat any of that. But it does seem to me that


there is only whisker of difference now, I don't deceive myself that I


converted the Labour Party who have now put down an amendment identical


to the arguments I was putting forward which they didn't then agree


with when we were debating the Queen's speech, but when I look at


the government's proposals they are remarkably near. We all know,


British business knows that we need this smooth transition. We don't


need change that we -- until we are certain we have acceptable new


arrangements. I have looked at the position paper on customs


arrangements put out by the government. This says, I will read


one sentence "This could involve a new and time-limited customs union


between the UK and the EU customs union based for on a shared external


tariff and without customs procedures." I won't go on. There is


an Asp salute whisker of difference between the government's paper and


what the opposition are now saying and what every at the slightest


common-sense, in my opinion, is saying. That we should stay in the


single market and customs union until we know that we can smoothly


transferred to some new and equally beneficial arrangement. Again, I


would like some reassurances on that. I detect in this wording and I


conclude, I detect in this wording and the amendment from the


opposition, we're crawling towards that cross-party approach which is


obviously going to be required in the national interest to settle


this. It is absurd for the Labour Party to say that they are all


agreed on the new policy that they have adopted. It is absurd for the


Conservative Party to say we are all agreed on whatever it is the


secretary of state is trying to negotiate in Brussels. LAUGHTER


The public are not idiots. They know that both parties are completely and


fundamentally divided on many of these issues with extreme opinions


on both sides represented in the Cabinet and the Shadow Cabinet let


alone on the backbenches. Let's, therefore, resolve this matter and


make sure this bill doesn't rule out and make it impossible to stay in


the single market and the customs union. Let's have some grown-up


debate on the whole practical problem that we face and produce a


much better act of Parliament than this bill represents for us at the


moment. Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. Can I commend the right


honourable member for Rushcliffe and the secretary of state for


outstanding contributions to this debate. This process requires us to


think fundamentally about what we think Parliament is for and what


democracy is about. The Scottish National Party support as a


fundamental principle the idea that the land of Scotland is in


neighbourly invested in the people of Scotland. That is not for sale at


any time to anybody. This bill seeks to use up and undermine that


sovereignty. That fact alone would compel me to vote against the bill


when it comes before us for a vote on Monday night. It compels anybody


who believes in the sovereignty of the people and anybody who purports


to be here on behalf of the people of Scotland to oppose the bill on


Monday night regardless of which party is trying to get them to do


something different. Given that it will be a labour amendment. I want


to make a few comments. We will be supporting the amendment on Monday


night with some hesitations. Given that 62% of our citizens voted to


remain in the European Union, I'm certainly not ready to give up on


that for the people of Scotland. I understand and respect the fact that


two nations of the United Kingdom voted to leave, I would ask the


members of people from those two nations to respect the fact that two


nations voted to remain and those votes cannot simply be cast aside.


There is a reference in the amendment to Parliamentary


sovereignty. I respect for some people that is an important


principle but that does not apply universally across the nations of


these islands. Is he not aware... Is he not aware of the question that


was on the ballot that we went to. It was a United Kingdom question. It


was a United Kingdom vote. We voted as a United Kingdom to leave the


European Union. That's what we decided. Don't you understand that?


I don't know which part of the people of Scotland are sovereign the


right Honourable gentleman opposite doesn't understand. The people of


Scotland are sovereign. I would urge all members of Parliament for


Scotland to respect that when the time comes. The final concern I have


is in reference to the transitional period. I need to make some protest.


Thank you. I warmly welcome the fact that we now have a lot more clarity


from Labour about the benefit of membership of the single market and


customs union. I welcome that the amendment. I'm disappointed that


given everybody now knows that there is absolutely no reason for being


out of the European Union means that you have to be out of the single


market. I'm disappointed that Labour have not yet come around to the


position that we should stay in the single market permanently after


leaving the European Union. Having said that, the amendment of labour


is a vast improvement on allowing the bill to go ahead unchallenged so


we will be supporting the amendment on Monday evening. It's interesting


if you look at the recent amendments, a huge powerful number


of reasons have been come up with for rejecting this bill at this


stage. It tells us that there is a huge number of serious and


fundamental flaws in the bill which mean it cannot be allowed to go


forward in its present format. If that gives a problem for government


timetable is, then tough. The views of my constituents are far more


important than the interests of the government managers. Particular


weaknesses in this bill, some of which have been ably covered


already. First of all the act of constitutional betrayal that the


bill proposes. Against a Tory government in London the right to


claw back any powers it fancies from the four nations of the United


Kingdom. That is not just a detail of those who campaign for so long to


have those parliaments established. It is a betrayal of the great


parliamentarians of all parties. I'll give way now. The honourable


member talks about representing Scotland. 1 million Scots voted to


leave and a third of SNP voted to leave. So, what you're actually


saying is that if you truly want to represent your constituents, you


should respect the democratic will of the United Kingdom which we are


all here to do. If the members opposite want to be strong of


Scotland, I suggest they engage in the detail of the bill and not try


to create a wedge between them and the United Kingdom. I happily see


his 1 million votes to leave and raise it to 1.6 million voters who


voted against. I'll take no more interventions from people whose


position on the European Union has changed so radically over the last


couple of years. Let me get back to my comments about the attempt to


grab power back from the devolved parliaments for which so many others


worked so hard to establish. Many of those who take the greatest credit


for it. For example, the great Donald Dewar. I shudder to think


what they must be thinking now when they see attempts have been made to


completely emasculate the powers of those parliaments. It's a betrayal


of the promises that certain people made to the people of Scotland just


three years ago. The most powerful devolved parliament in the world,


they said. Scotland should lead the union, they said. The parity of


esteem and equal partnership of nations, they said. Mr Speaker, what


definition are they using if the Prime Minister who takes a authority


from this Parliament and decides it's beneath her status to even meet


with members from the respective national parliaments. What


definition of parity of esteem are they using? If there is a parity of


esteem, trumpeted by the Tories less than year ago as the epitome of


relations between our government hasn't met for seven months. I know


it is completely coincidental. For my friend from sky and Lochaber to


have a debate on the matter. Since then, the government have decided


they are going to reconvene the GMC sometime in the autumn and I hope


they won't fall back on the claim that autumn finishes on the 30th of


November. They have given way to some pressure and I are going to


reconvene it but they have done nothing about ignoring the national


governments of Wales and Scotland and promised to act within one


month. They broke that promise as they have broken so many promises to


the peoples and parliaments and governments of those devolved


nations. I will happily give way. with me that it would be very simple


and straightforward for the Government to accept the reality of


devolution and where there is a parity of powers, those powers go


directly to the devolved institutions? Absolutely, that's


what devolution means. If the powers are currently devolved, they should


remain devolved. If we can't trust the Tories to keep their word on


something as simple as arranging a joint meeting of Government


ministers, nobody in any of the devolved nations can trust


assurances that the Draconian new powers in this bill will not be


abused because our experience of promises from the party opposite


suggest we cannot take them at their word unless the legislation is


nailed down so tightly that they can't have any wiggle room at all to


go back on their word. We have heard a lot of rhetoric about some issues


needing a UK wide approach. I'm interested to wonder how the UK wide


approach to agriculture and animal welfare and food standards is going


to work in Northern Ireland, because regardless of what the legislative


or constitutional position is going to be, a matter of business survival


is that the food industry in Northern Ireland will follow the


same standards that are followed in the Republic of Ireland. They will


follow the same standards as applying the European Union, so we


are talking about different animal welfare standards in Northern


Ireland to the rest of the United Kingdom. I can't really see that


working. But a UK wide approach is being shown to mean in practice that


a Prime Minister and a few hand-picked colleagues get the right


to dictate to the peoples of the violence and two elected


governments. For example, it was the need for a UK wide approach that led


to the Scottish fishing industry being sold out when we first join


the EU and there is a serious danger that a UK wide approach will lead to


those fishermen being sold out again in the process of leaving. My second


concern is about the all-encompassing powers set out in


Clause nine, for example, which I think was superbly torn to shreds by


the Shadow Secretary of State in the minutes ago. One of the backbenchers


describe this on Wednesday as an unprecedented and there's no other


way it can be described. 649 MPs will be expected to stand by and


watch while a single minister with a single signature can make new


legislation, including the right to make legislation that should require


an act of Parliament and the only requirement on the Minister to be


allowed to do that is that she or he thinks the legislation is a good


idea. Mr Speaker, when we have ministers that pink welshing on the


Dubs Amendment is a good idea, I'm looking for a slightly harder test


than whether or not they think something is a good idea. These new


powers have been referred to, Mr Speaker, as Henry VIII powers. Well,


Henry VIII was a despot, no interest in democracy, he thought Scotland


and Wales were just places to be conquered and trampled on, so


perhaps Henry VIII is not such a bad name for what some of the Government


are doing. But I think using that nickname hides the danger of these


powers. Despite his murderous deeds, a lot of people see Henry VIII as a


kind of pantomime villain that even got to star in his own carry on


film, but the fact of the matter is that the powers in this bill are


more 1984 than carry on Henry. The powers that bear his name are


anything but funny. They represent a significant erosion Parliamentary


democracy and those members present who believe in the doctrine of


Parliamentary sovereignty, the powers in this bill are utterly


incompatible with Parliamentary sovereignty. It's not taking power


back to Parliament, this bill threatens to destroy Parliamentary


sovereignty. The powers are designed to allow ministers to bypass all


pretext Parliamentary scrutiny. It's even possible that we could see an


act of Parliament received the Royal assent one day and then be repealed


by a minister at the next day, simply because the Minister thinks


that's a good idea. The Government will argue that delegated powers are


an essential part of modern Government. I agree. We don't have


an issue with using delegated legislation, we do have an issue


with allowing delegated legislation to be abused to bypass proper


scrutiny and the only way this House can be satisfied that the powers


will not be abused is it the legislation is reworded to make it


impossible for them to be abused in that way. The third significant


weakness that has been touched on concerned our membership of the


biggest trade agreement in the world and we're going to throw that away.


In Scotland, we are talking about the loss of 80,000 jobs with the


loss of ?11 billion a year coming into our economy as a result. The


figures for the rest of the UK will be proportionate to that, simply to


pacify the extreme right wing of the Conservative Party and their allies


whose obsession with the number of immigrants has blinded them to the


massive social and economic benefits that these EU migrants have built to


my constituency and to every constituency in the United Kingdom.


Be sure amorality of the isolationist, xenophobic approach


that the incentives are trying to drag us down is there for everyone


to see. It's not just immoral, it's daft. It threatens to destroy our


economy. Already we are seeing key sectors in industry and public


sector workers struggling to recruit the staff they need. There was a


great of people being offered ?200 million just to recruit NHS staff.


?200 million could build a hospital in my constituency and it's being


paid to a private firm to try to repair some of the damage done by


this. We still get anti-European hysteria and rhetoric from the


Government benches and with the Government still refusing to give


European National is the absolute and plumbing guarantees that they


deserve if they choose to come and live here. Those agreement


difficulties are going to become much, much worse before they get any


better. The Secretary of State once our EU partners to be imaginative


and flexible. I would ask him to apply those same flexibility to his


Government's attitude to membership of the single market. I mentioned


the plight of EU nationals and another major concern which has been


raised in particular by the Secretary of State -- Shadow


Secretary of State is that this bill threatens to and in the right is not


just of EU nationals but regardless of nationality or citizenship, who


lives on these islands. I hear the promises from the Government. We've


had promises from the Government before. They are not worth the paper


they are written on, even if they are not written on paper at all.


Yesterday, we have the usual Sharad of a Tory backbencher asking a


planned question so that the Prime Minister could confirm how


successful she had been bringing down unemployment. She went so far


as to say that and implement is at its lowest in four decades. Let's


just think about that. The Prime Minister is telling that


unemployment is lower now than it was when we went into the European


Union and the single market. How can the Conservative Party boast about


having almost done away with unemployment and then say that


immigrants are to blame for the huge unemployment problem we have? Free


movement of people, membership of the single market has not caused


unemployment. It has caused implement that has benefited our


economy, helped our businesses to bribe, it keeps our schools open.


All evidence suggests that the most successful, wealthiest and happiest


countries in the world, those with the highest standard of living


further to the material of things that really matter are those which


are open and inclusive. The Government are trying to move us


away from that position to becoming one of the most isolationist and


isolated economies in the world. There are only five economies in the


world that are not part of a trade agreement and none of them are


countries we would like to see as an example. To conclude, Mr Speaker,


the Government's man trapped under Brexit has been taking back control.


That's not going to happen, at least not in the way people hoped it would


happen. Because it's not about taking back control to 650 people


who collectively hold a democratic mandate from their constituents to


represent them. It's about taking back control from this Parliament


into the hands of a few ministers. It's about taking back control from


the devolved and elected National assemblies of Scotland, Wales and


Northern Ireland and putting it back into the hands of a few chosen


members of a political party that can't get elected into Government in


Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. It allows ministers to use up


authority in Parliament, giving them overall power to over guide the will


of Parliament. A lot has been said about the red lines in the Brexit


negotiations, Mr Speaker. I will give him one headline from the


sovereign people of Scotland. Our sovereignty is not for sale. It is


not for sale today, it will not be for sale at any time in the future,


not to anyone, at any price. This bill seeks to take that sovereignty


promise more than any bill that has been presented to this Parliament


over 300 years ago. I would urge any MP who claims to act on behalf of


Scotland, every MP who believes in sovereignty of democratic


institutions to vote with us and against the bill on Monday night.


Order, a ten limit -- a ten minute limit on backbench speeches will now


apply. Iain Duncan Smith. Can I first of all in rising to support


the bill in principle and in many cases in fact, but I will come back


to more details on that, can I also support my right honourable friend,


and as my right honourable friend at the dispatch box will remember in


the lead up to the Maastricht debate, we had quite a long second


reading debate and if not possible today, I wonder if through his good


offices, to the powers that be, it might be possible on Monday to make


even further extension to give more backbenchers the opportunity to


speak. I remember that because we went through the night on the first


day and then ended the second day at 10pm and everybody got to speak and


there were as many people then he wanted to speak without the time


limit. I make no criticism of you imposing a time limit on me as I'm


sure I can work within it. I urged gently that there could be some


scope for that even by Monday. I ride really to support this because


I believe that this is clearly a necessary piece of legislation. We


start from the simple present decision -- the simple provision


that it is necessary to get all of the law is transposed into UK law


applicable and actionable in UK law properly so that it is just


miserable at the end of the day. That requires huge amount of action


and there are pages and pages of laws. I was looking at it the other


day and I said if we were to vote on everything in there we would have to


have something in the order of 20,000 different boats and there is


no way on earth that could possibly happen. I listened with great care


to the right honourable gentleman he speaks for the opposition and I


listened very carefully to his arguments and I thought it was a


very well-balanced speech and he made his case about the need for


change within the bill rather well. But I would argue that the Labour


Party's position on this therefore did not fit with his speech. I go


back to Maastricht, when the then John Smith led the Labour Party, and


they supported, because he was a strong believer in the European, the


Labour Party voted to support the legislation but then opposed


elements of it in the committee stage that they thought needed


changing. That is the position I think the Labour Party should be in.


In other words, the reasoned way the Labour Party should behave is to


reserve their position on second reading, subject to whatever changes


they think are necessary within the committee stage to the detail of the


bill and then make a decision on what they do one third reading. To


come out and vote against the principle of the bill is debate


against the idea of having to make these changes to European law to


transpose them into UK law and that is the absurdity that they had got


into. I know what it's like. I've been in opposition, the temptation


behind the scenes to say, I'll tell you what, we could cause mayhem in


the Government ranks by trying to attract some of their colleagues


over to vote against second reading for us. Fine, they felt that, but it


shows that the British public will look at this in due course and


recognise that this is not a party that is ultimately fit for


Government because the detail in this is not the issue. That becomes


the issue once we get through the second reading. I accept and


recognise that there are major changes which the Government has


talked about possibly making and looking at within the bill. I


observe that we are therefore not disagreeing about the need for this


bill. That is why the House should support the bill going through. But


there may be elements in here which needs and change and I notice also


that the report that the right honourable and Leonard gentleman


made mention of which came out this morning from the select committee on


the Constitution in itself regaining its recommendations makes it quite


clear, and it says so here, we accept that the Government will


require some Henry VIII powers in order to amend primary legislation


to facilitate the UK's withdrawal from the European Union. However,


they do go on to say but the commensurate safeguard their levels


of scrutiny need also to be in there. So the debate about this is


not the need... I would just like to mention that it


would not be an useful to look at the names that are on the


constitutional committee, and make a judgment about their enthusiasm for


our leaving the EU. I am grateful for that intervention. I know she


will make a powerful case in support of the Bill and she is quite right.


I want to come back to that point, the base year is that there has


never been any great sweep of power is coming through the Henry VIII


procedures is completely and utterly wrong. The reason why I came so


concerned about what is happening under the European Union treaty, is


that when you look at section two of the EU act, I want to quote this, it


says quite clearly that without enactment, they are to be given


immediate legal effect, and it goes on to say, that by order in Council,


that is not this procedure in the Bill. Any procedure, rules or


regulations skin, make provision. We have sat for 40 years with this and


we have been content to let those kind of rules and regulations be


made. Yes, up until the Maastricht Treaty, when qualified majority


voting came in, we became ruled takers under this provision, which


is never been more powerful in history at all. I will say


cautionary note in my colleagues on other side of the House, it is not


so. The key element... I have great sympathy for because he has great


critique of EU law. That can't be justification for two runs making a


right. The fact is that we do not need to legislate in this fashion in


order to carry out the technical task of leaving the EU. I remain


after Lieb amused as to why the legislation has been drafted in this


form. I am not asking the two runs to be made right. The principle of


this Bill is what I support and the need for it. I also recognise during


the course of this committee stage there will be need to review how


this checks and balances are introduced. I hope that is done


properly. I gave indication that there is scope to look at that. The


argument is not the powers in the Bill, the debate is, how do we


reassure ourselves as a parliamentary democracy, that those


checks and balances exist, such the given a profound nature of what is


happening, that we can manage to do both and balance, and not delay the


necessary changes to be made. The opposition is in a peculiar


position, that the Scottish Nationalists are in a ridiculous


position. Three years and years, they have sat content to see all the


powers exercised in Brussels without so much assay. The moment we talk


about leaving the EU and bringing those powers back, that they feel a


trade somehow and that they don't exercise those powers. Where were


they in the last 40 years where those powers were given away's I


won't give away, I don't want her to rip embarrass yourself any more


after that ridiculous argument. My idea men in this is that they are


not being stolen away, and the government that evolves down to the


more be more than they've ever had before and that reinsurance has been


granted on giving. I also make the point, I think it's a rather good


paper that the select committee on the constitution makes this morning,


the other that I think is important comes back to the three


recommendations I want to make in closing. I think there are three


areas I hope the government will look at. The first is on the


application of statutory instruments. I know the government


has given away to consultation on the idea that now you have an


explanatory memorandum to that what will explain what happens before and


afterwards. I did me to explain the point as to why the government sees


this instrument as necessary. It is important for people to quickly


recognised the purpose and the government for doing this. I hope


they might think about that. I make another recommendation. When I was


at the Department for Work and Pensions, there existed a statutory


body called the social security advisory committee. Their role was


to look at legislation as it was about to happen. Entente awkwardly


as you are the Secretary of State. Nonetheless, they make


recommendations. I would us just have a look again at that process.


It may offer the government a way of just reassuring that these things


they are about to do, may well be absolutely necessary. Here's the


deal, we're asking that whatever is done under the purposes powers of


this Bill I'd done with one simple point. That is, to transpose


existing law with existing affect so that that affect does not change. If


they single exam question is asked of a body like that. Is this


instrument doing that in their opinion? That might help reassure


Parliament that that was the case. I only urge that because it works in


the one area of detail and consequential legislation, I wonder


if that is an area to do. The last one want to make and conclude, is


the final recommendation, is the point about the exit date. I am one


of those that thinks we all really to have that in the Bill. There is a


reason for that. I think, he's right, on its hinges just about


everything for example the sunset clauses. The government has moved a


long way on that. It is important to put an end to powers on that. The


question is is it's two years. The real question is when does the two


years start and when does it end. I would answer a Lord of questions


about how far the. I'm big supporter of the Bill and leaving the EU, I


would urge the government to think very clearly about what they do with


that Bill. I would urge the government in the principle of this


Bill, in the practicality and the way this is implemented. I recognise


that the government, through the committee stage, will look again


carefully at some of the necessity to give some of those checks and


balances as assurances to this House. All others want that, because


none of this want to defy the will of the British people. Which is to


leave, leaving a small way, in a manner that does not bother business


and upset individuals on their rights and accepted ways of


accessing and working. I accept the government and congratulate them to


getting this point. I would just say to the right on gentleman, this is


not about to find the will of the British people, it is about how


sensibly we will give effect to it. It seems a long time ago now, the


referendum campaign, but we had endless assertions during that


leaving the EU would be easy and straightforward. Anyone who looks at


this Bill before us today can see with their own eyes, just how wrong


they were. I would also say, that it must be dawning on ministers now,


despite the brave face that the Secretary of State habitually put on


things, that their association that they would be able to negotiate the


whole thing, a comprehensive agreement, covering all the things


we need and all the benefits we want by the end of the Article 50 process


is not now going to be possible. The reason why both of these assertions


have failed is not because of want of effort. But fundamental agreement


about what the policy in the government should be. Which has


resulted in delay. And secondly, because the task is Byzantine in its


complexity. I do not envy civil servants who were working very hard.


I don't envy the House the task that confronts us. But we do have a duty


to be honest with each other and the British people about the choices we


face, the consequences of those choices, and the fact that we have


to do all of this against the ticking clock. Now, the Bill, this


Bill, apart from repeal of the 1972 European Communities Act, is not


about whether we are leaving the EU, appoint the Secretary of State made


in his opening speech. That decision was taken in a referendum and given


effect by the triggering of Article 50 and we will leave by the end of


March 20 19. What the Bill is about is to ensure that our law is in


shape when we leave. All others except that there is a need to do


this. All others therefore except that a Bill is necessary. But that


does not mean that Parliament should accept this Bill. Which is the 2017


equivalent of the Statute of proclamations of 1539. The committee


did urge him, I would politely remind him, to publish a draft, and


I think she would be having fewer difficulties now if he had done so.


Because its flaws and weaknesses are fundamental and if I may say-so,


brilliantly exposed by my right honourable friends from the front


bench. This Bill is not about taking back control. If ministers continue


to fail to take Parliament's role seriously, we will have deep


continued to prod and push and persuade, or in the case, to gently


threaten, so that ministers understand that this Parliament, the


backbenchers Parliament it has been christened, and rightly so, they


will have no choice but to listen to what Parliament has to say. In the


detail of the Bill, if they do remain unamended, seven, eight and


nine would grant ministers new and unprecedented powers. Ministers are


asking us to give them a legislative blank cheque and they are saying we


should not do so. How could we accept a Bill where on the one hand,


ministers say look at the safeguards. They are in the


legislation, and then at the same time, proposing another part of the


Bill to give themselves the power to remove every one of those safeguards


if they are so inclined. How's that Bill a sense of confidence and


reassurance? I accept there is a balance to be struck. Between giving


the ministers the latitude and flexibility to do what needs to be


done, and Parliament having control to scrutinise and decide. But the


breadth and scope of the powers as they stand do not achieve that, that


is why the Secretary of State will have a very long queue outside his


office. If he wants to save himself some time, he should come forward


with own amendments. Now, there is... I will give way once... Thank


you forgiving way. This sounds that the honourable gentleman agrees with


the thrust of what is being attempted, at the detail and


mechanics. Will he not be voting for the Bill at second reading, and


seeking to amend it to address some of his concerns in committee? Della


mac no, I want. Unless the government moves, the floors are so


fundamental, the government should go away and it's time homework


again. There is not a single person in this chamber that does not except


that legislation is required to undertake the task. We are saying,


it is just not this legislation before it is. There is a huge


difference between on the one hand, a statutory instrument that says


some regulation, delete the words commission, and insert the words for


the Secretary of State for rural affairs. A statutory instrument


which, to take a specific example, will give responsibility for


oversight and enforcement of air quality legislation which derives


from the EU directive to an existing public body. What assurance can


ministers give is that whatever body is given that responsibility, is


going to have festival the same effective enforcement powers as the


commission has had, through what it has been able to do, including


ultimately taking cases to the European Court of Justice. And will


give the public the same power to hold that body and the government to


account if there is continuing lack of progress and making sure our air


is pure enough to breed. If that is not abided for, -- enough to. Many


people have said this Bill is going to have to produce a mechanism for


sifting the proposals come forward so that we can distinguish between


the absolute straightforward and frankly noncontroversial, and those


that raise really quite important issues of policy so that we, as


Parliament can do our job. Does he agree with the proposition


put by my right honourable friend forging feared that the SSA 's Sea


is a clear model of such a mechanism? It was an interesting


proposal that the right honourable gentleman put forward but I think


personally, others can give advice, but at the end of it,


parliamentarians have to do this if doing or a body that together by


parliamentarians. Very quickly. Would the right honourable gentleman


agree that the existing joint committee on statutory instruments


could be the very body to do this exact work of tree and sifting? That


would be one possibility and I hope the Government would listen to all


the suggestions coming forward and come forward with a proposal. I


welcome what the Secretary of State said in relation to my point about


Parliament voting on withdrawal and the exercise of powers under Clause


nine and, if on reflection, he was kind enough to say it was a logical


point, I also think it's necessary, perhaps he would put that on the


face of the bill. I agree absolutely with the point made by my right


honourable friend the Member for Holborn and St Pancras about the


Charter for fundamental rights. It needs to be brought across into our


law, not least because the Secretary of State relied upon it in the case


that he brought. Can I also say that the same argument applies to the


environmental principles that were set out in the Lisbon Treaty. Now,


if members look at the explanatory memorandum, it has an illustrative


list of directly affected rights that arrive from EU treaties that


the Government says it intends to bring across under Clause four but


it does not include the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty which cover


environmental principles and protection and I stay to ministers


that will need to be remedied. Finally, Mr Speaker, I want to turn


to the state of the negotiations which will have a huge impact on the


way this bill is used. The Secretary of State told Andrew Marl last


Sunday that this is, and I quote, the most complex negotiation


probably ever but certainly in modern times, and he is of course


right. Which begs the question, why ministers, I'm sorry to say, pretend


that a conference of relationship can now be negotiated in the ten and


a half or so months that now remains because here we are 15 months after


the referendum, six months on from triggering Article 50, and as we


know from the Secretary of State's statement on Tuesday, we haven't yet


sorted out the money, citizens rights in Northern Ireland. Michel


Barnier has been absolutely clear that negotiations must be completed


in ten and a bit months' time so that everyone involved can look at


the deal. We have got to take a view. Other parliaments have got to


take a view. The European Parliament must take a view and the Council of


ministers. The Government must now have realised that it was never and


is not now going to be possible to negotiate a special perspective that


will cover all of the issues that need to be addressed. So, given, Mr


Speaker, that there will inevitably be lots of outstanding issues come


the end of the talks in 2018, given that leaving without a deal would


mean falling off a cliff edge with absolutely disastrous consequences


for the British economy, surely it is now playing that we will have to


have transitional arrangements and that these will have to do --


involve staying in the customs union and the single market for a time if


we are to avoid the kind of disruption that businesses have


repeatedly warned the Government about. Now I realise that this


truth, this self-evident truth is going to come as a shock to some


people, a bitter disappointment. And I don't know how ministers are going


to break it to them, presumably gently, bit by bit. But it is going


to have to happen because only by doing this will be as a nation have


the chance at the time to negotiate the comprehensive free trade and


market access agreement that businesses want and our economic


future depends upon. In British constitutional history, there are


few examples of bills of such historic significance as this. Since


the mid-19 80s, I have been arguing for legislative sovereignty in


respect of EU legislation, as indeed with my amendment on the 12th of


June 1986, even under the pie minister ship of Margaret Thatcher,


but I was not then allowed even to debate it let alone move it. Then we


had Maastricht, Neath, Amsterdam, Lisbon, and together with other


tributes and I pay tribute to the McGann -- and together with other


colleagues, and I pay tribute to them again, here we are today. I


circulated something even before the referendum that said we need to


repeal the European Community that 1972 and we need to transpose EU law


into UK law when treaties cease to apply under Article 50. However,


contrary to the reasoned amendment by the opposition, this bill, the


bill of the Government, will emphatically protect Parliament


sovereignty precisely because it is an active sovereignty and it repeal


the European Communities Act which has overridden Parliament. Indeed,


the referendum bill itself was authorised by acts of parliament by


no less than 6-1 in the House of parliament and the hard-core 50 --


the Article 50 was again a act of sovereignty which was passed by


almost all members of the opposition. This was reinforced when


86% of votes in the general election went to those in favour of the


referendum result. Not merely participated in. We should therefore


be deeply disturbed at the official opposition should now seek to


decline to give a second reading to this bill, cynically claiming that


they respect the EU referendum result. In fact, there are amendment


defies belief. As the snail asserts in Alice and Wonderland, so today


the official opposition, if I may quote from Alice in Wonderland,


would not, could not, would not, could not, would not join the dance.


But this is a serious dance. This is not Alice in Wonderland. This is a


real dance implementing the democratic decision of the British


people and the United Kingdom as a whole. The reasoned amendment fails


to convert and the simple fact which is that Parliamentary sovereignty of


no less embedded in this bill banning the European Communities Act


itself, which in the very pursuance of sovereignty repealed are then


voluntary acceptance under sections two and three of the 1972 act.


Indeed, Lord Bridge make the voluntary basis of that act crystal


clear, even to the point of the House of Lords striking down even an


act of Parliament, namely the merchant shipping act at that time,


because of its inconsistency with the European Community act 1972.


Now, in 1972, therefore, we also, by virtue of the historic invasion of


our constitutional arrangements, acquiesced in the subversion to the


European Union of this House and all this, even without a referendum,


which we did have, of course, when we passed the referendum and got the


endorsement of the British people under an act of Parliament passed in


this House. Furthermore, the 1972 act absorbed not only a vast swathe


of existing treaties and laws, but also the dogmatic assertions made by


the European Court on the supremacy of EU law itself over our


constitutional status. A whole list of cases can be listed asserted by


the European Court over our Parliament and sovereignty. This was


made even worse by the White Paper which preceded the 72 act itself,


which pretended, I'd almost say by deceit, that it would not only be


essential to our national interest to maintain the detail and we would


never give it up, because to retain it, they said, it would be essential


to our national interest and without it, it would even impair the very


fabric of the European union itself. They understood what it was about.


They knew it would destroy the European Union if they imposed a


restriction on us being able to veto legislation. Since then, the EU's


competences happen fastly extended. As for the Henry VIII procedures in


the bill, and I hear what my honourable friend the Member for


Broxton said about what I said in 2013, but I am talking about the EU


specific legal jurisdiction and the context in which we are discussing


this in relation to the 1972 act. Yes, we could have reservations


about elements of Henry VIII procedures, but when you come to


this, the biggest power grab of all time in British constitutional


history has been the 72 act itself and is incorporated all EU law


accumulated before, from 1956 right the way three to 1972, and my right


honourable friend the Member for Rush Clift was cajoling people to


move down the route of subverting our entire history into these new


arrangements which subverted the constitutional history of this


entire house. Can I briefly remind my honourable friend of the


Maastricht Treaty and his constitution to the Maastricht


Treaty being very similar to ones he making there. I don't remember him


being so enthusiastic with the speed in which he went through the House


leaving no detail. When did this conversion to the new prompt


procedure take place? I am so glad my honourable friend made that point


because I would like to endorse what he was saying earlier. I would like


to see these proceedings being extended past 5pm tonight and I will


not have the opportunity to make the speech as long as I did on the


second reading of Maastricht, which was about two hours, but I do think


this is quite different in character from the Maastricht bill because


then we were dealing with extensions of competences, whereas now we are


dealing with the repeal of sovereignty and competency. I simply


make the point that within Maastricht, we were told time and


time again whilst we have long procedures for debate, the outcome


could not be in doubt, because to be a member of the European Union and


all of what was agreed in the Maastricht Treaty would come


straight into UK law, regardless of what this Parliament decided they


were against. Absolutely, and that is the principle. The Henry VIII


arrangement with respect to this bill is in fact a mirror in reverse


of what was done in 1972 in absorbing all that legislation into


our own law and applying it said that it can never be changed. You


can't repeal it until you get to this bill. Indeed, I ought to add


that it would be impossible for us to be able to translate all the


legislation by primary legislation although, as it's already been said,


we will have essentially important primary legislation on fisheries


which has already been promised. Action 22 of the European Community


's act allows EU law to have legal effect in the UK domestic law by


secondary are delegated legislation. Section 24 of the European


Communities Act, this secondary legislation by sovereignty of


Parliament is expressly given the power as may be made by the act of


Parliament itself and their as signposts of examples including, if


I may say, to the opposition and to the Shadow Secretary of State,


including section 75 of the Freedom of Information Act, where the


amendment was made within the act itself and was passed by the Labour


Party itself, so let's not get hypocritical about this under any


circumstances. This is not as unusual as it's made out to be and


indeed I would go one further to say that the point was specifically made


by the Minister Geoffrey Rippon during the passage of the 1972 act


on the 15th of February, where he acknowledged the novelty, and it was


novel in those days, and he added, as I conceive it, the power conceded


by section 24 would only be used in exceptional circumstances. Well, we


now know that at least according to the EU database 12,000 legislators


brought in since 1973. At the wild assertion that the Henry VIII


provisions in this bill are an infringement of sovereignty and for


this reason the amendment should be completely disregarded.


Furthermore I would add that Henry VIII powers have been used for


enactment after enactment,... There is another important point to be


made, and that is what the European scrutiny committee report with the


transparent city of making in 2016 which goes to the heart and manner


of the policy of laws that the UK has been increasingly invaded not in


process, but in practice which we will revert under this Bill. That we


will abolish under this Bill. What this establishes is that the


majority of treaties is, that the majority of actor taken by


consensus, behind closed doors, not with any proper record, not with


proper speeches, not with transparency, not with voters they


are recorded in Hansard, that is the fundamental difference, and it is a


travesty of democratic decision-making process and is the


reason why this Bill is so necessary. The people of this


country have had inflicted up posed upon them, legislation that has been


made behind closed doors, without knowing who has made them, for what


reason and how. So, the fact is there are also political


undercurrents which need to be brought out here. Because who makes


those decisions behind closed doors is incredibly important. As the


Professor of economics at the University, another report


demonstrates the extent to which the UK has been on the losing side of an


ever increasing proportion of time is up to 2015, and I'm bound to say


that the UK has been on the losing side more than any other state over


that period of time. Lastly on the charter, I've made my point that the


opposition have no credibility on the question of the Charter


whatsoever. I would simply finally say this. This is a historic moment


and I'm glad to be part of it at last! It is a pleasure to follow the


right honourable member, he, amongst all of this, spent more scrutinising


EU legislation and EU directives, and EU scrutiny committee which I


have been pleased to be a member of some years very often has felt very


alone. We have been up there in the committee room going over document


after document, realising that actually, very little of what we


could do to change. I think that the public looking in today, may well be


asking, some of them, if only this interest and intense scrutiny and


worry about Henry VIII clauses and statutory instruments, if only a


quarter of that time had been spent by Parliament in examining some of


those thousands of EU directives and regulations that have been simply


imposed on us as a country. As the honourable member has just said,


very much what was happening in the EU was behind closed doors. We were


one of 28 countries, we were always being outvoted. Many and many of


those times we had to take those decisions and take it on board


without being able to change. Now, I do know that there is genuine


concern amongst men -- many of my colleagues about some of the ways


that we might be scrutinising and using some of the Henry VIII clauses


and statutory instruments. I agreed very much with the right honourable


member that there are mechanisms that we can actually bring people


together on this, one of the problems has been that there is


genuinely amongst those of us who voted to leave, and were pleased at


the result, do feel that while there are a lot of people that say we


accept the result of the referendum. But actually behind-the-scenes they


are doing every little bit of work they can do to try and, not


necessarily prevent is leaving, but make it as difficult as possible, to


make it as tedious as possible, to get the public saying, oh dear have


we done the right thing? That is coming from the media and all the


people who were strongly in the remaining camp. That is doing a


disservice to our country. What we have to do in negotiating with the


EU is show this country is united, that this parliament is united.


Because we are leaving in March 2019, whatever happens, whatever


people on my side of Parliament say, we will be leaving in March 20 19.


We want to leave in a way that is going to maximise certainty and


confidence in business, maximise the confidence of all those people, many


of them who voted remain, but have decided now that they want to get on


with it, let's do it and speak up for all the positive things that are


happening. All the dire warnings of the things that were going to go


wrong, we should now be recognising that they were wrong and we need to


be being as positive as possible. I look back at my last, the last


gunmen in a lot of members served, we actually doubled the number of


statutory instruments the new law. We are being a little bit


hypocritical on this side of the fence on this issue. I know there


are people on my side that are genuinely so upset that we are going


to be leaving the EU. But this is a time that we should be putting the


interests of the country first and deciding that we want to work with


the Government, and that means the Government want to work with us as


well. That needs a positive attitude from our front bench, and I've been


pleased to say that there has been positive attitudes. I do worry now,


that this is going against the principle, and voting against second


reading, is, no matter whether there are some people who genuinely feel


this is the right thing to do. This will be seen, out there, in the


public, by Labour voters, many Labour voters who came back to us


having fraternised with you UK IP for some time. They will think that


we're not really serious foot leaving the European. I am very


disappointed that we will not be supporting the pill on Monday night.


-- the Bill on Monday night. Some of my colleagues feel they should be


supporting it, even if they are going to support the recent


amendment, because this second reading is the principal. Then in


our new clauses we can probe some of the problems that there are,


undoubtedly, about the way this scrutiny process will happen. Michel


Barnier has gone on, and many people have mentioned it today, that the


clock is ticking. It is ticking, but it is actually taking the EU as much


as it is ticking for us here in the UK. It seems now to me, that the EU


negotiators, not necessarily individual countries, and we will


see over the next few months changes in some of those EU countries that


really want to get a good deal with us and now it's in their interest.


What we are seeing is that the only thing that is at the top of the EU


negotiators minds at this moment is money. They know how much they are


going to miss our money. I think that tells us something about what


the EU has been all about. They want to keep our money coming in for as


long as possible. Any transition period, I will only accept any kind


of transition period that on day one we are leaving the EU that we are


stopping paying any more money. That's not to say there might be


some things that legally, I'd like to see the detail, I like the EU to


come up with every detail of why we should be paying something back,


then we need to be clear that we're not going to pay anything more after


we leave the EU. I give away. I entirely agree with the honourable


lady. That she also agree that probably the EU doesn't want to talk


about trade, because in practice they're going to want tariff barrier


free trade if they are at sensible, and they think they can get money


out of this if they want over themselves? Dilemma I think the


unreliable member is right, money seems to be the crucial way they are


trying to use and I hope that our negotiators will stand up to that


and stop having this, allowing the media and those people who want to


make every little bit of negotiation into some kind of conflict, it is


always at the EU negotiators are doing the right thing, and somehow


we're not doing the right thing. I wanted to be the other way round. I


want is to be positive about our negotiations, because in the end we


can get a good deal by proclaiming how strong the UK is, how well


respected we are, how strong our City of London is, how we know that


already despite the fact that we're leaving in 2019, companies are still


coming to invest here. There is a very positive message, but it's not


getting out. I know lots of people want to speak, so I will end by


saying that I think the public today, and I'm not a lawyer, and I


know there's a lot of lawyers in here who are loving every minute of


this, because it's the kind of thing they love. I'm not a lawyer, the


vast majority of the lawyer -- public are not lawyers. They will be


judging all of this, whatever our party politics, they will be judging


this on whether we are doing what is in the long-term best interests of


our country. I do not believe that playing some kind of political game,


about whether we can vote for this because it might look to some people


in our party that we are standing up to the Government. This is about our


future of our country. We, on the Labour side, should be voting for


the second reading of this Bill on Monday night and then challenging


and changing if we can during committee stage. Thank you. Mr


Speaker, I entirely agree with the honourable lady, we do not have any


legal obligation to pay more money, there is no moral obligation and


there is no diplomatic advantage in offering money. If the EU gets the


idea that we might pay them a bit of money, they will be even more


unreasonable, because that would be a way of forcing more money out of


this. What I wish to say on this very important debate, is that this


Bill should satisfy most remain voters and mostly voters. I


understand that it doesn't satisfy some MPs who have their political


agendas in games to play. But they should listen to their constituents


and think about the mood of the country and the mood of business and


those that we represent. We have had crocodile tears shed for myself and


my right honourable friend 's who want to leave and are very pleased


with Leave. Surely we must understand that we're not getting


the Parliamentary democracy that we wanted with this piece of


legislation. I'd like to reassure all colleagues in this House that


I'm getting exactly the piece of legislation I wanted which does


restore Parliamentary democracy. What is in this Bill from the voters


is that once this Bill has gone through and we have left the EU, the


British people and their elected parliament would in future make all


their laws for them. And we would be able to amend any law we don't like


any more, we would be able to improve any law, and we are not able


to do that. What we like about this Bill is that it gets rid of the 1972


act, which was an outrage against Chrissy. Because as we heard it led


to 20,000 different laws being visited upon our country, whether


the people and parliament wanted them or not. Whether they had voted


for or against them, or voted for them reluctantly, because they


didn't want the embarrassment of voting against them and losing. This


is a great day for United Kingdom democracy, that a piece of


legislation is presented that will give the people and their parliament


control over their laws. It is also a very good piece of legislation for


remain voters because a lot of Remain voters during the campaign


were not fully convinced, either for against the EU, but on balance


thought they should stay in. They quite often like some elements of EU


legislation or standards or requirements, particularly the


Labour Party and their supporters like the employment guarantees that


offered by employment law. There were other parties in interests that


likely environmental standards. What this Bill does is that all those


things that Remain voters liked about European legislation will


continue and be good British law so they will still have the benefits of


them. With the added advantage that we might want to improve them. We


have full assurance from the Government that we don't want to


repeal them. I am very surprised that the


honourable member is saying how delighted he is that so many rights


and responsibilities will now come under delegated legislation. I'm not


sure if he recalls on the 1st of September 2012 as a member of the


delegated Legislation committee on the criminal injuries compensation


scheme that the honourable member himself called with all the other


members of that committee from the Conservative benches for the then


Minister to withdraw the motion that was coming towards them, and that


did not happen. Simply a second committee was set up.


The Speaker: Colleagues must have some regard to each other's


interest. Interventions must be brief, they must not be many


speeches. Let's come to this secondary point. I am happy that


there is Parliamentary control. If Ministers seek to abuse the power


under the legislation they are offering to this House. All they


have to do is vote down the statutory instrument, and surely the


opposition is up to being able to say, we intend to debate and vote on


this issue. I remember doing that as a Shadow Cabinet Minister. We made


sure there was a debate and a vote, and if it is the will of Parliament


that Ministers have misbehaved, they will lose the vote and have to come


forward with something else. I don't understand why my colleagues find it


so difficult to understand Parliamentary democracy. What


Ministers will be doing is bringing forward secondary legislation where


they are fairly sure it is the will of the House that they go through,


and they will all be in pursuit of this fundamental aim which is to


guarantee all those rights and laws which are often more admired on the


other side of the House than on this side of the House, but which we all


agree should be transferred lock, stock and barrel, and are pledged to


improve on, because that is something that we believe in and we


offer that British people. Very kind of the right honourable gentleman to


allow me to intervene. The right on gentleman has indicated to the House


that those who voted for Remain as I did should be happy with this


legislation because it brings over all EU legislation. Yes and no. On


the stroke of midnight on exit day, we lose the general principles of EU


law, principle such as proportionality, non-discrimination,


respect the human rights. With respect, the general principles go.


Does the right honourable gentleman agree that we should lose those very


sound, good, valuable, general principles? I think those excellent


principles are already reflected in both European law and British law


and will therefore be built into our statutes and inherited from European


law by this legislation, and they will inform the judgment of our


judges. I am happy to judge our Supreme Court rather than the


justices. I didn't like all of their judgments, but we accepted it and


lived with it, and we are now in a stronger position as a result, as it


happens, because we had a nine-month referendum debate in this House


after the country had made its decision, and after an extensive


rerun of the referendum, day after day we were doing the same subject


and we were told we were never talking about it, Parliament wisely


came to the decision that they did have to endorse the decision of the


British people and get on at implement it. Time is now rather


limited. So I am very much in favour of our Parliament making those


decisions, those Admiral principles which will often be reflected in


British law and already reflected in the legislation that are the subject


of this bill today, and our judges will often be informed by them. If


the judges start to use a principle we don't like a much, it is in the


hands of ourselves in this Parliament issued new guidance to


those judges and to say we are creating more primary legislation to


make sure we have a bit more of this principle and less of that principle


and maybe our disagreement with the judges, because it is important in


the democracy that you have independent courts, and also that


the sovereign people through their elected representatives can move the


judges on by proper instruction, which in our case takes the form of


primary legislation. There has been much made of how we implement


whatever agreement we get if we have an agreement at the end of the now


19 month process in the run-up to our exit on the 29th of March.


Again, people are making heavy weather of this, because I think the


main issue that is going to be eventually settled, I fear it will


be settled much later than the present Parliament would like, is


this issue of how we are going to trade with our former partners on


the date that we depart. And there are two off-the-shelf models, either


of which would work, one is that they do in the end decided that they


don't want tariffs on all their food products coming into the UK market


and all the cars coming into the UK market, and they don't want us


creating new barriers against successful exports, so they agree


with us that we should register existing arrangements as a free


trade agreement at the World Trade Organisation, and it would be a


ready-made free-trade agreement. I don't think there is time to do a


special free-trade agreement that is as good as what we have the moment,


you either have the current arrangements modified the WTO


purposes when we are the union, or you don't. And if you don't, then we


trade under World Trade Organisation terms where we are on the other side


of the EU customs tariff arrangements, and we know exactly


what that looks like because that is how we trade with the rest of the


world as a EU member where they impose high tariff barriers on what


would otherwise be cheaper food from the rest of the world, but if they


decided on that option, then of course their food would be on the


wrong side of that barrier as well and we would have to decide how much


we wanted to negotiate tariffs down for food from other countries around


the rest of the world, where they may offer us a better deal. But it


would be quite manageable, food is the only sector that is really badly


affected by the tariff proposals. Over half our trade would not be


tarot fourball under -- tariff able under the terms. We will have to


wait and see how that develops. I will give way. So is the gentleman


saying that one of the basic and largest amounts that any household


spends of its income, on food, could be affected by his proposals, but


that's OK? I'm saying that either way we could get a good deal,


because if they decide that they do want to impose tariffs on exports to


ask a more we could take tariffs off food coming from other parts of the


world. Under WTO rules, we can always take Tarasov, and we've get


cheaper food from the rest of the world than we are currently getting


from the EU. The other things is that we would of course have a


massive, if we accepted the full tariff rules, we would have 12


billion of tariffs, and I would recommend that all of that be given


back to our consumers, so they wouldn't be any worse off at all


because we would return the money to them and so they might even be


better off if we then did free-trade deals that got food prices down from


other parts of the world. My final point to the Government is that I do


think that there is an issue over how you decide the date of our


departure, and I think it is very clear that our date of departure


will be the 29th of March 20 19. It will definitely be that if we don't


have an agreement, which is still quite possible. I think should aim


to still make that the date. We have 19 months left. That should be the


transition from most of the things that need transition, that is surely


what the time is there to achieve, and so I would recommend that that


date be put in the Bill now, and we have the argument of substance over


that date now, and I would recommend very strongly that we aim for that


date, because on one scenario it will be that date anywhere, and on


the other, it is highly desirable. People are always telling me we need


to remove uncertainty, but if the laws remain in place, we also tell


them it is definitely going to be the 29th of March 2019, that is


taking a lot of uncertainty out of the system that would be very


welcome. I find businesses now on the whole just want to get on with


it, they want to know what they are planning for, they have got some of


the details and they want as many details as possible, and if we put


the firm date in, that would make it easier still.


The Speaker: The time limit on backbench speeches will be reduced


to five minutes after the next speaker. Yvette Cooper. Thank you,


Mr Speaker. This has been a thoughtful debate, and I hope that


the Government is in no doubt about the scale of Parliamentary concern


about the way in which this bill concentrates power is in the hands


of Ministers. The Secretary of State in his opening speech recognised


that this bill is not what takes us out of the EU. Parliament has


already voted for Article 50, which will take us out of the EU, and


rightly voted for it as well. But Parliament also has a job to do to


hold Ministers to account, and as drafted, this bill stops us doing


that. It stops us standing up for democracy in this House, and it


stops is making sure frankly that the Government doesn't screw up


Brexit in the process and the decisions that it takes. Many of the


purposes behind this bill are right, and Parliament will need to repeal


the 1972 act, Parliament will also need to transfer the EU derived law


into UK law. So as my right honourable friend has already said,


we will have to have a bill, but not this bill, because there is a choice


about the way that we do this, and we don't have to do this in a way


that concentrate so much power in the hands of a small group of


Ministers. And let me run through some of the concerns that we have.


My right honourable friend the Shadow Minister said tighter


forensic and powerful account of the Bill and the DCAL powers that it


does give to Ministers, with no safeguards in place. Clauses seven,


17, nine, would also the fact that it reduces British citizens' rights,


and this bill weakens the protection for employment rights, equality


protection, environmental standards, remedies and enforcement, crucially


reducing right of redress, and it is both sad and telling that Ministers


have chosen to exempt the Charter of fundamental rights. I hope that is


something that will be reversed in something that they will change


position on. But the greatest concern, the point I wanted to focus


on, is this concentration of powers. Frankly it is not British, and


Parliament will not be able to do its job to stand up for those


citizens' rights against a powerful executive if this bill goes through


in the way that it has been drafted. The unprecedented powers being given


to Ministers in those clauses, in clause 17 in particular which trumps


other clauses, powers to make a Tudor monarch proud, and everyone


realises that the sheer extent of legislation does mean we will need


both primary and secondary legislation as part of this process,


but not to this scale, not with this lack of safeguards, not with this


concentration of power in Ministers' hands. It will give them the power


to change primary legislation for an incredibly broad range of reasons,


on the test is simply whether Ministers think it is appropriate.


Not whether it is needed, proportionate, essential, but only


whether they consider it to be appropriate. The Bill also does


include the power, slightly disingenuous remarks from the


Secretary of State in the way that you presented this, because the Bill


does include the power to create new criminal offences so long as the


sentence is not more than two years. That is a serious power to give


Ministers on some and it is so broad without Parliamentary scrutiny. And


here are some examples of things that the Bill as it stands would do.


I raised with the Secretary of State European Arrest Warrant earlier, and


his response to my question about what the safeguards would be were


simply to point to the Human Rights Act. The Human Rights Act which by


the weather front bench opposite has pledged to get rid of, but the Human


Rights Act is also not sufficient safeguards when we know that we


should not be relying on the courts to have all of the safeguards when


we in Parliament should be providing some of those safeguards as well.


And when they know, too, that even within the scope of the Human Rights


Act, that there is a huge range of potential policies on extradition,


which Parliament should have a say on. I suspect that I am in fact


probably closer to the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary on


what extradition policy should be that many of her own backbenches.


However, I still don't think that the Prime Minister and Home


Secretary should have unlimited powers to decide what that


extradition should be without being able to come back to Parliament and


without Parliament having a say. Take again the investigatory Powers


Bill, something that we debated forensically in this Parliament, it


was an example of Parliament at its best. Detailed consideration the


balanced security and liberty and changed the Bill as it went through,


but in fact given that some of the genesis of that whole bill did


depend on ECJ judgments and its relationship with EU legislation, in


fact this bill before us now on the clauses before us could give


Ministers the power to reopen the Investigatory Powers Act, to change


the primary legislation that we chose to put forward with great care


and to do so again, just through secondary legislation, without


proper safeguards and checks in place.


The ministers will have the power to rip up the working Time directive,


if they so think it does not fit with what they think should happen


as part of the appropriate arrangements after Brexit. And to


say that I do not trust the Prime Minister and the Cabinet with these


immense powers... You would expect me not to trust the Prime Minister


and the Cabinet with these powers, but I think no parliamentarian


should trust the Prime Minister and the Cabinet with these powers. We do


not know who the next Prime Minister is going to be, when the next


cabinet is going to be. This is about the powers in principle, not


about who it is doing the job right now. For me, clause nine is


particularly disturbing and should not even be in this bill. We should


be legislating separately for the withdrawal agreement. We should have


separate primary legislation, and yes, it will need to include


secondary legislation. We shouldn't be doing it now when we don't know


what it will be and we haven't had a vote to endorse the Government's


negotiating strategy, to be honest we don't even know what it is in a


whole series of areas and where there is not a statutory commitment


for a vote on the withdrawal agreement either, we could start


this legislation later, in the summer paps. When we have a bit more


of a clue where this is going or in the autumn, when the withdrawal


agreement is supposedly signed. Then we could put him primary


legislation, the exit dates, we could put that into primary


legislation, if the withdrawal agreement has been determined. It


would allow us to do so in a way that gave ministers no more power


than is strictly necessary, rather than to simply hand over


unrestricted power to do the job. I will give way. Doesn't The right


honourable lady accept this will be a negotiation conducted for us by


the Government, so Parliament will be able to say we like the result or


we don't like the result but we can't amend it, it's what the


negotiation is? I think the honourable member's enthusiasm for


blank cheques is not one I am comfortable with. I would also say


to him, even if he is happy to simply support the Government and


let them do whatever they want on the negotiations, he should be


deeply uneasy about giving ministers unrestricted powers to implement the


withdrawal agreement in whatever way they so choose. The Prime Minister


has no mandate to do it this way. To be fair to her, she did ask for one.


That was actually what the election was all about. It was about


subverting the Cabinet and her party as well as this parliament, but she


did not get that mandate. In fact, the Conservative Party lost seats.


We have a hung parliament now. It would be even more irresponsible for


a hung parliament to hand over such huge powers to the executive than it


would in any other circumstances. Though we don't need to do it like


this. We don't need to do the legislation in this way. And this is


about more than just Brexit. This is also about the precedent that we


set. Many honourable members have quoted precedent about secondary


legislation and that strengthens the argument. We should not be setting a


precedent for parliament and this stonking great lump of powers into


ministers hand without any safeguards in place.


This is about who we are. It is about what kind of democracy Britain


should be. And even before the Brexit legislation, the former Lord


Chief Justice warned us about the steady diminishing of Parliament,


handing over power and control year after year to the executive, and to


a fair judgment to be fair Fx previous governments, not just this


one, and the number of statutory instruments on the fact that since


1950 only one in 10,000 of these statutory instruments laid before


Parliament, Parliament has actually said no.


Henry VIII's Parliament had an excuse. The man had a habit of


dropping off people's heads. What is the excuse that this Parliament? How


can we possibly, in this generation, allow ourselves to become the most


supine parliament in history, by handing over powers on this scale?


We sit here and we listened to maiden speeches in this house with


great respect, because we still, all of us, think there is something


special about being sent here by our constituents, sent with the power of


democracy, sent on the wings of all of those ballot papers, those many


thousands of ballot papers folded up with a cross by our name, we think


there is something special in that and we have a response ability to


hold the executive to account. Not to hand over all power, the power


that is given to us by our constituents, not to hand over that


power in an unrestricted weights to government ministers to do what they


like. Yet that is what this bill is doing.


History will judge us for the decisions that we make now and for


the precedents we set and for the choices that we make. Six months ago


I voted for Article 50 because I believe in democracy. But now it is


that same faith in democracy that means I cannot vote for this bill.


Let's not choose to be the most supine in history, let us be the


generation of Parliament that stands up for Parliament, that does pursue


the Article 50 process but also does so in a way that holds ministers to


account. The five-minute limit now to apply.


This has been a fascinating debate and I am delighted the little bird


tells me the Chief Whip and Leader of the House conspiring to try make


arrangements for it to be extended into a second day until midnight.


One of the most fascinating aspect of the debate has been the


appearance of logic, not only from the right honourable lady who has


just broken but the chair of the Brexit Select Committee on the


Shadow Secretary of State. It sounded forensic and logical. The


structure of that argument is clearly as follows, we don't like


clause nine, we don't like clause 17. We don't like schedule seven and


therefore instead of waiting to see of those clauses and schedules will


change at committee before voting on a third reading, we will reject the


bill at second reading. That's not what magicians call logic. It raises


the question why the non sequitur? The three people I mentioned are


among the three of the most clever in Parliament and the reason they


are engaging in is what they had to do is to make some combination of


trouble for the Government or for Brexit, the Brexit process and those


of us on this side of the House should therefore not pay any


attention to these argument is that get on with the business of


examining the bill as it is. Having said that, I rather agree, strongly


agree with the member of Chingford and some of what the former


Chancellor of the Exchequer and my right honourable friend said, there


is a need to get those clauses again. I suspect much of the remedy


will lie in a combination of using the joint committee on statutory


instruments as the ultimate body and something like the SAA seed to do


the detailed work on what will probably be near an 1010 technical


statutory instruments before the House comes to consider the really


serious matters which will need to be dealt with in one way or another.


Having said that, there's 1.I want to make in advance of committee hope


the Government will consider it between now and then. There is a


fundamental issue as an address so far. That relates to what we used to


call the ECJ, the European Court of Justice. The members who have read


the items in clause six will have noticed that in 6.4 it says, the


Supreme Court is not bound by any repaint EU case law. That sounds


like quite an important statement. Not quite as important as you might


think, because the Supreme Court is not bound by itself either. The


Supreme Court is the kind of court that can always depart. I think it


is more of a ritual utterance than anything else. If we look at 6.3,


what we discover is... Any questions about the law to be decided in


accordance with any retained case law and any general principles of


even you law. If anyone is into doubt if that is a drafting error,


in the Government's on document describing the bill it as questions


on retaining EU law will be in accordance with ECJ case law. This


bill enshrined the ECJ with its expansion list jurisprudence as the


basis for deciding what the law of the land is. That, I think... I


won't, I'm sorry, I don't have much time. I don't believe that that is


actually a very good way to do it, but if it were a good way to do it,


we should certainly remove the reference to the Supreme Court not


being bound by it, because it isn't one solo parliamentarian with no


expertise, it's rather the retiring president of the Supreme Court, we


do have to pay some attention to, that there is an ambiguity. My


personal belief... Of course I will give way.


It is by no means the only ambiguity in this bill, but I agree with him


entirely that asked the judiciary to carry out an interpretation of


something which is so oddly, and I have to say, vaguely worded, is a


recipe for disaster. And is something this house should avoid


doing. I am grateful to my right honourable


friend and I agree with him and I have been committee we can address


it head on. My personal belief is we should address it in the form of


changing 6.3, in order to ensure that actually it is open that we


give an inducement to our courts to move back to the plain words of the


texts of the treaties and directives, so far they judge that


can be done without injustice to individuals. I think that is the


principal most people who voted for leave and that many of us who voted


on balance to remain but to have been extremely sceptical about the


activities of the ECJ. I suspect I might even carry my right honourable


friend on that point because he was somewhat surprisingly very sceptical


about the ECJ on many occasions. I say surprisingly, because what


happened if despite his enthusiasm for the European Union, which I'd


never quite managed to share, actually he is a very good


parliamentarian, a very good lawyer and he recognises we don't want a


court that makes its own war. So I think we have a way forward, which


we can seek in committee. None of that should ebb skewer the fact this


is a good unnecessary bill. And I think the opposition says has


suggested there is any structural deficiency in the bill, therefore I


will vote for it tonight or the next day when it is debated and I hope


all my friends and colleagues on these benches and many on benches


opposite will do the same. Maiden speech, Rosie Duffield.


Thank you Mr Speaker. It's a great privilege to give my maiden speech


as part of this important debate. Many people, especially me, were


completely stunned on the morning of June nine to wake up finding a new


dot, a new red dot had appeared on the previously blue map of Kent. I


am really was shocked but trying to make as much positive difference as


I can in my time in this place. Before I speak a little more about


my constituency, I do want to mention the so-called trolling of my


mostly female colleagues that has taken place over the summer. I've


already experienced a fair amount of trolling myself. This ranges from


ill informed Bradley we searched articles published as fact to


unpleasant personal messages late at night and vile vitriolic insults


from the small but persistent handful of activists from other


parties posted online. I would like to acknowledge the effort being made


by the inspirational women in Parliament who are working hard to


raise this issue and fighting against it, even though that usually


results in much more abuse being thrown their way. I would like to


make special mention of my friend, the new councillor, who has endured,


fought back and now campaigns against the lowest form of racial


abuse. And, of course, Labour's Shadow Home Secretary, who has shown


incredible dignity and strength in the face of unacceptable abuse.


Groups such as glitch UK and reclaim the Internet, led by my colleague


Yvette Cooper and many of my friends and colleagues here in this house,


are deserving of our support. We must continue to fight against this


and highlight the problem. It is entirely possible to engage in


passionate political debate without resorting to name calling, death


threats and abusive language. Let's restore respect and manners to our


online behaviour. As the first woman to have ever been


elected in Canterbury and as a single mother, I want to be a


champion for equality, not only for women but also for the disabled,


people of every ethnic and racial background, the young and the old,


the LGBT community and people of all faiths and none. It is a scandal


that in this day and age there is still inequality in pay and


discrimination in many forms. All such prejudice has no place in our


society. I will challenge and fight it where ever I find it. My


constituency, Canterbury, is famous as a place of pilgrimage. It is also


known as being part of the Garden of England. Today, as we sit in the


Palace of Westminster, the farms surrounded my constituency are


filled with apples, hops and plum trees. In a few ways nothing has


changed since Chaucer and his pilgrims went walking through those


same fields, yet in many ways everything has changed. In those


fields today, many of the fruit pickers are European. Every day in


the streets of my city and the nearby seaside town of wits double


we hear European languages being spoken by schoolchildren visiting


from France, Spain, Germany and Belgium. At that the hill that


overlooks Canterbury city is the University of Kent, which prides


itself on being the UK's European university. And standing outside the


doors of Canterbury Cathedral on your closer to Paris than you are to


Sheffield. This is just my way of emphasising how much Canterbury


constituency has and continues to benefit from economic and cultural


exchange with our European neighbours. It is undoubtedly true


that the Kent economy has benefited from immigration and terrorism from


across the Channel and we hope to continue to do so well into the


future. If there must be a Brexit, I only want the sort of Brexit that


protects the rights of EU nationals to work in the UK, that promotes


trade across borders and is proud of our many students and academics who


come here to study from across the world. We want, for example, to


continue to welcome the foreign doctors, nurses and other health


care professionals who have worked in our hospitals. There is real


anxiety in the constituency I now represent about the future of our


local NHS, and in particular the Kent and Canterbury Hospital. Over


the past decade, it has lost vital services. We now have absolutely no


A The maternity unit which gave me such wonderful care when I had my


two boys is gone and only a few months ago the KMT lost three major


services, those being heart attack, stroke and pneumonia.


The threat to our hospital is not happening in isolation. The problems


facing our NHS a rise from government policy affecting the


whole of England. The first of these is budget cuts. Our local hospital


trust does not have a deficit of ?40 million because of overspending, it


is caused by underfunding. Putting the shackles of austerity into an


already weakened NHS is a deliberate political choice made by this


Government. I must speak up to save our nation's sickest patient,


because that is what the NHS is. The NHS is our nation's sickest patient.


The Government must be careful that while burying their heads in Brexit,


they must not leave her to die. Yesterday I was outside supporting


the public sector staff and other workers who are having to resort to


protest in the face of the ongoing pay cap. Some nurses I speak to


regularly are having to rely on food banks. What sort of country is this


where we can't look after the very people who look after us? In around


1370, long before he wrote the Canterbury tales, Geoffrey Chaucer


were sent to Italy by the king to negotiate a trade agreement between


general and England. Historical documents show that it was a very


successful trade agreement indeed. I can only wish that our current


Brexit negotiations with the EU are as successful. You would think that


after nearly 650 years we would have picked up a tip or two. I hope that


the current Government I listen to the whispers of history and the


shouts from up and down the United Kingdom. People want a good deal.


They don't want no deal. This isn't a television game show with a snappy


title. We must come out with A.D. That doesn't send us back into the


economic dark ages. As is the tradition of maiden


economic dark ages. As is the tradition of speeches, I would like


to thank my predecessor. I'm sure that both sides of the House will


acknowledge what a remarkable act of dedication and service that was.


While we disagreed on many issues such as equal marriage, Brexit and a


woman's right to choose, I sincerely wish her well for the future. I love


Canterbury and her surrounding villages. I love the working harbour


of Whitstable and the pebbles of the surrounding coast. I am humbled by


the people of my constituency for putting their trust in me, and I


want to work hard for all the people in my area. I believe in unity,


togetherness and that love and trust can transcend borders. I believe in


progressive and thoughtful socialism, where we think of our


neighbours without prejudice. Thank you for listening, Mr Speaker, and


for allowing me to have my first moments fighting for the people who


elected me. I will not let them down.


THE SPEAKER: Thank you, and many congratulations to the honourable


lady. The five-minute limit is now restored. Nicky Morgan. I


congratulate the new honourable member for Canterbury on an


excellent and very confident maiden speech. I was sorry to hear about


the abuse that she has already had on the Internet and online, but


pleased to hear about the support but she has had. She talked about


unity and togetherness, and I think she might have found this House at a


challenging time for unity and togetherness, but hopefully we will


find a way through these current debates. I know that her predecessor


was a doughty champion of the Armed Forces, a subject he spoke about


often in this House. Mr Speaker, so it starts, the real process


forgetting is out of the European Union. This bill is needed legally


in order to disentangle us, and I think to make many people really


believe that we are actually going to be leaving the European Union. It


is not something I have had difficulty in believing, because I


have been clear, as have many colleagues who share my views from


the 24th of June 2016 onwards that this was going to happen, because as


the honourable member said, we do believe in the democracy of the


House of Commons, but there are two major ironies in this bill. It is


not a repeal but a reintroduction bill, and often those who wanted to


get away from EU law now seek to bring it all over here. And


certainly those who wanted to take back control how showed no concerns


about the amount of executive power that is going to be wielded through


this bill until a number of the rest of us started to highlight these


issues, and now claim to be happy with the amendments that might be


discussed later on in the committee stage. In the limited time


available, I wanted to draw attention to two parts of the Bill


that have already been discussed. I think it is worth putting it on


record so Ministers are in no doubt about the parts of the builder they


are going to have to discuss with colleagues from across this House


and seek to agree amendments on if they want the Bill to go through to


its final stages. The first is the Henry VIII powers in clause nine,


that could theoretically bite on this bill itself, allowing Ministers


to amend the very and act and the House is now debating, and being


asked to assent to. And we might ask why we are going through troublesome


and time-consuming business of getting the village shape where


Ministers could use clause nine to reverse the changes they dislike


with speed, efficiency and a minimum of Parliamentary oversight. The


response that the Secretary of State is going to give to the question


from the chairman of the Brexit select committee about the fact that


the withdrawal agreement should not be in fermented until this House has


had its say on the withdrawal agreement is incredibly important.


I'm grateful to my honourable friend forgiving way. Would she advise


Ardent levers possibly on these benches that there is a real danger


that their concerns about the amount of money that might be paid to the


European Union by way of what we call this divorce Bill, that that


could be decided by Government without court redress in this place


by virtue of clause nine on which she has elaborated? I thank my


honourable friend for that intervention, and she is absolutely


right. We know that the amount of money, and I say is a former budget


Minister, there will be money to be paid to the European Union. I


disagree fundamentally with the remarks from my right honourable


friend the Member for Wokingham. As one of our MEPs, Dan Hannan, has


said, this is a country that pays what it owes. We have made financial


commitment to the European Union until 2020, and we should pay what


we owe, and they may well be adamant we decide to pay more for in order


to have access to, and I'm thinking about things like Horizon 2020


funding. The date of the exit date is subject to no Parliamentary


scrutiny whatsoever. The Secretary of State started his remarks today


by saying that this was not a bill that took us out of the European


Union. I did think about intervening, but I thought that was


very early on in his remarks, and he might clarify it. But the difficulty


with what he said is that the first clause broadly states that it is


repealed on exit day. If the European Communities Act is wrote


repealed, the UK leave the European Union, so this is a bill that if


passed under provisions are enacted, we will leave the European Union as


a result of what is in this bill. Article 50 is a process of giving


notice to start the discussion. So the Secretary of State was not


correct about that. Now why does scrutiny matter so much? I suspect


that members of this House have been having discussions with businesses


and others who rely on EU law in order to go about what they are


doing. And they are telling is very clearly that what will make their


life easier and the transition possible is convergence, sticking to


the regulations and the rules that we have been following for years,


whether we're talking about pharmaceutical companies, financial


services or food exports or farmers are universities or many other


different sectors, and so those who seek to say that we are going to be


will take is already and not rule-makers, I have sat at the


European Council table and had those debates. The point is after March


2019, if we want to have convergence which is what we are hearing, we are


going to have to take the rules without having had any influence on


them. And finally let me say this as a proud parliamentarian. We have


been reminded how special it is to be elected to this place.


Parliamentary scrutiny is not an affront to democracy. It is its very


essence. And the true saboteurs of Brexit are those who would sanction


the exclusion of Parliament from this process. The debate on this


bill has only just started. I also congratulate my honourable friend


the Member for Canterbury on a speech that was both fluent,


forceful and at the same time generous to her predecessor. Also it


was a speech that has determined me that I want to go and visit


Canterbury. It sounds such a delightful place. I want, Mr


Speaker, to make a few points about why people voted to leave in the


referendum. Where this bill stands in relation to why people voted to


leave in the referendum last year, and also how all of the other


aspects of Brexit are going, and how they relate back to why people voted


as they did. There are three areas which I think there may be more, but


three which I think are of the most relevance. The first one is that


people voted to restore the sovereignty of the United Kingdom.


However they defined what that sovereignty was. It was certainly an


issue that was debated forcefully, and it was occasionally raised on


the doorstep, and I use the word occasionally advisedly. Secondly,


they voted to restore some kind of economic independence. The feeling


that we were spending too much money in Europe, and that we would be


better off outside, and we could negotiate better trade arrangements


with the rest of the world, and everything in the garden would be


rosy. And the third reason was, and this is the issue most commonly


raised on the doorstep with me, was immigration. So I will come back to


all of those very briefly. On the first issue of sovereignty and this


bill, the honourable member for Stone and the right honourable


member for Wokingham can dance on the head of a pin all that they want


about what this bill actually does. But as my right honourable friend


from the front bench so forensically demonstrated, what it is is a


transfer of power away from Parliament and towards the


Executive. And that certainly isn't what the people in my constituency


voted for. Secondly, an economic independence, apart from the fact


that it is potentially going to cost us ?70 billion just to walk away,


people actually didn't vote for a worse trade deal, worse economic


relationships within the European Economic Community, and OK, I accept


the Prime Minister said, you can't leave and at the same time be a


member of the single market, you can't leave and at the same time be


a member of the customs union, I'm sure she is right about that. But


let's be honest about what we know the Government is seeking to do.


They are trying to create a set of circumstances... I will give way.


Could he explain Norway? Norway has never been in the European Union, a


form of of the customs union as our eyesight and Lichtenstein. It is a


fallacy to suggest that being as the European Union has to minute you are


outside the single market, unless you choose to be outside. The point


I was going on to make is that we all know if we are brutally honest


about it what is going to happen. The Government through their


negotiations are going to find a set of arrangements that are as close as


possible to being part of the single market without being a member of it,


and are going to find some sort of arrangement whereby we are very


close to something approximating the customs union. And if they don't do


that, frankly, they won't be looking after the best interest of this


country. So that we know. Which leads me on to the question about


immigration. If they are going to achieve anything that approximates


the customs union and some sort of relationship with the single market,


the price they are going to have to pay is to agree some sort of also


approximate arrangement about the free movement of labour between the


UK and the EU. Ministers might say, we can do that.


No, you can't. The reality of the situation we are in is if the people


who are negotiating on behalf of the European Union were to say, OK, you


can have something, UK, that approximates the EU single market


and Customs union and you don't need to worry about any free movement of


labour, they would soon be removed from the negotiation positions


they've been put in. It's not realistic. So where are we on this


audit of what we have achieved since the referendum?


First of all, we have a set of arrangements in this bill that are


less democratic and less, give less power to Parliament and more power


to the executive. That is hardly, in my view, what was promised in the


referendum. We are likely to be paying ?70 billion, not getting ?350


million a week put back into the health service, but paying ?70


billion for the privilege of leaving.


And finally, we are going to, if we get anything like reasonable


arrangements on our economic relationship with the EU, have to


accept some level of free movement of labour. Everything people voted


for is going to be the trade. Can I join with the member for


Mosley in congratulating the new member for her maiden speech. I hope


she will work with other members and she made generous tribute to her


predecessor, a fine parliamentarian for many years.


Mr Speaker, 17.4 million voted to leave the European Union. 16 million


voted to. Polls show very quick clearly a large percentage of the 16


million now want us to get on with it, and if we do not, there will be


catastrophic damage to the confidence and integrity of all of


us. So we must progress, taking back control to our democratic


institutions of our laws, our borders and our money. Our 494


members voted in February for Article 50 and we will except at


midnight on the March 29, 2019. So what we are debating today is an


absolutely crucial stage in this process. Article 50 requires any


member state may decide to withdraw from the union. It requires us to


repeal the European Communities Act 1972. As far as I'm concerned, good


riddance to it. We will be a better country without that act and we've


seen a strange mixture today of Project free up morphing into


Project humbug. I have the pleasure and honour to be on the European


scrutiny committee for many years and I remember clearly being shocked


as a junior member, piles of papers coming through which imposed burdens


on our citizens which we could not debate and could not end. One day a


couple of Labour members were ill, a Lib Dem member got stuck in the lift


and the most pernicious measure affecting the dairy industry, we


debated to be on the floor this house, we couldn't amend it but we


could at least debate it. The member for Derby South stood up and


cancelled that debate. That. . From now on we will have the power to


debate these measures, we will not impose law on our citizens we have


not debated. And all this talk about Project Fear, I remember clearly is


a founding member of votes leave that early on there was discussion


about change to employment rights. I had discussions with the member for


Vauxhall and reassured them that at no stage did any member on the Tory


side considered changing employment rights. I cannot remember any


discussion both privately or publicly that this was raised. This


is pure Project Fear. Employment rights will be brought under control


of democratically elected politicians in this house.


The spokesman made it interesting case, taking the very worst case,


and I hope the Government will listen to concerns of how some of


the so-called Henry VIII clauses might be amended. I would suggest


judiciously that clause seven brings in a sunset clause of two years a


more judicious use of sunset clauses might be valid. But we must press on


because we need smooth transfer of power. In agriculture, there are


355,000 measures, many in fishery and 20,319. Businesses need to have


smooth continuity. Some years ago I looked at this issue, having had a


private members bill on the dis- application of the EU law and looked


at the history. Many historical precedents, many states took their


then English and Welsh common-law into their corpus of law. When


Australia and New Zealand left our jurisdiction, they also did it. I


thought India very interestingly in 1947 did exactly the same and they


are still amending their law. Only recently in 2016 they passed an act


amending 90 acts, including the elephants preservation act of 79. We


are setting up a continuous process. It is wholly ludicrous, the Labour


position. 162 members voted for Article 50. Their manifesto said


Labour accepts the referendum result. They have in their manifesto


that they wanted to leave the Intel market and the customs union. So the


leader, who has to be the most consternation as leader of any


party... I will give way. Not on the elephants preservation act but does


he not agree that the most complex area here will be within DAFRAs


remit. It is important. That is why the Government very sensibly will


bring forward primary legislation in this house on agriculture, fisheries


and the environment. I will ask the Labour Party to look at their


position. They have a leader who has rebelled against his party 617


times. They have this in their manifesto, they voted for Article


50. The sensible measure now is for the Labour Party to vote for second


reading and then to see reasoned amendment put through in the


committee stage. Many of us would agree this bill can be improved, but


the public will not forgive them if they are seen to be monkeying around


with the political process, making cheap political games, when 17.4


million people voted to leave, to take back control of our laws, our


money and our borders. I will be voting for a second reading on


Monday, Mr Speaker. The honourable member for North


Shropshire talked about promises made. I think we all remember the


promises that were made by those campaigning to vote lead in the


referendum, at the time resulting in the bill that we have before us.


?350 million per week for the National Health Service, I'm still


waiting to see where that particular clause is in the legislation. It was


the international trade secretary who said it would be the easiest


thing in the world for us to have all of these fantastic trade deals.


By now we would be halfway towards trade deals ten times the size of


the European Union. And yet as a member for North Shropshire


helpfully repeated, they promised if we had that particular referendum


with a particular result, we could take back control. But here we are,


Mr Speaker, with this particular piece of legislation in front of us,


and indeed it is the case for some that they are taking back control.


Not, though, for parliament, but for the Prime Minister, for the


executive, for those who are on the Crown payroll. It is unacceptable


that in our Constitution, as my right honourable friend from


Castleford said earlier, the British constitution, that we should be here


almost asked to create one of the most superfine parliaments that has


existed around the world, with the provisions that are set out in this


particular bill, particular clause nine, clause 17, which have such


wide-ranging powers gifted to ministers. And as I was indicating


before, when the Secretary of State opened this particular debate, it's


all very well for them to promise, don't worry, I give you an


undertaking... We won't miss use this power in this particular way...


Just because it says we can do any order making power if we deem it


appropriate, we won't use it in anyway... Just because the


legislation says we only use these Thorpe order making power, which


means they can make the order without reference to parliament even


in a negative statutory instrument sense, only if it's urgent... That


definition is entirely in the hands of ministers. But, of course, they


are here today and gone tomorrow ministers. Ministers can come and


ministers can go and honourable members on all sides of the House


need to imagine perhaps their worst possible scenario for who could be


Prime Minister. Stranger things have happened. And in the hands of those


particular, that particular individual, he or she, they should


imagine, do they want to invest those massive and sweeping powers


for perhaps a prolonged period? Because it is true that in clause


nine, yes it says there might be a two year limit for some of these


powers, but of course clause nine allows the Minister to reform this


act itself. So the minister can simply say, actually two years, no


change my mind, let's go for three or five. It's a completely


ridiculous open-ended piece of legislation.


We won't have much time to debate this. We have a ridiculous programme


motion with only eight days to go through in committee stage. This


bill gives carte blanche in the ways and means resolution and the money


resolution that we will be voting on Monday, which grants powers for any


expenditure under this withdrawal agreement, possibly including that


30, 40, ?50 billion, who knows, divorce alimony settlement. It is


ridiculous that Parliament would be taking away its own powers in this


particular way. We have to be able to see the withdrawal agreement and


the seven pieces of Brexit legislation before we hand over to


ministers powers, such sweeping order making powers. Mr Speaker,


this bill isn't just about process within this place. Sometimes I


wonder whether the public look at us and they think, why are you


officiously checking the air pressure on the tyres before you get


in a vehicle and ride it over the cliff edge? This is very much about


whether Britain leaves the single market or stays in the single


market. Because this legislation would delete the European Economic


Area act 1993. It is very much about whether we have a good free trade


arrangement without Harriet 's and without those customs barriers,


because it is this bill that takes away many of those arrangements that


we have for a common commercial alliance with our European partners.


It is about jobs. It is about business, and it's also about


austerity, because the Treasury needs the revenues from a decent


economy to pay for those public services. That is what we're


fighting for and I think this bill needs to opposed.


I would like first of all to congratulate the honourable lady,


the member of Canterbury for her maiden name which I enjoyed. I spent


many years at the bar cutting my teeth there as an advocate. I may


remind myself of some of the lessons I learned that this afternoon in


briefly contributing to this debate. I shall support the Government at


second reading. This is an absolutely vital bill. We cannot


leave the European union sensibly without such a bill being on the


statute book. The Government need support and it will have it from me.


It equally, I have to say, that unless this bill is substantially


improved in the course of the committee stage I regret to have to


say to my right honourable friends, I will in no position to support at


third reading in its current form. It is in many respects a stunning


monstrosity of a bill. Its first failing is it and


treatment of EU law itself. I didn't so much enjoyed EU law, although I


had outings to the European Court of Justice when I was Attorney General,


but it is a different form of law from our own which is imported and


has filled vast areas which otherwise we would have developed in


our own domestic law. So we need to nurture it, because we can't just


get rid of it overnight or we are going to leave enormous gaps. And in


addition to that, there are safeguards within EU law that don't


exist within our law and need to be retained because otherwise EU law


will act unfairly, and again they are different from our own. I have a


number of areas of concern. The Bill does not deliver clarity. It


imported and of EU law is hedged around with ambiguities, which


undermine one of the key pillars of the rule of law, which is certainty


of what the law is. One example was given by my right honourable friend


for West Dorset, but there are numerous others. For example, in


clause 2.1, it is said that contained within EU law is law that


was started entirely domestically but has been taken into the EU. It


is something I suspect every body unless house would regard clause


seven is unacceptable. We could actually address that in committee


not for a change in clause two which is fundamental, but rather in the


change of clauses that were concerned with seven, eight and


nine. I agree with my right honourable friend, these are all


curable with a little bit of will. Another example, we have touched on


it, is rather mysteriously in all of this, EU law never used to be


divided whether it was primary or secondary legislation, so


interestingly it is all being treated as primary which has nice


merit, and I'm sure somebody in Whitehall dreamt this up, as a


consequence of it none of it would be susceptible to be quashed under a


challenge under the Human Rights Act. That may not matter, but when


it is linked to the fact that the other area of challenge which would


normally be available, which is a challenge because it is in breach of


the general principles of EU law has been delicately removed along with a


Charter of fundamental rights, it is capable of causing unfairness. I did


slightly detect with the honourable Secretary of State, it was it he


used to stand up and club labour secretaries over the head, and that


I would, long and dissect them in public with a legal scalpel. But did


I suggest that he looked a little fugitive is the legal scalpel began


to move in on him. Somebody is going to have to sort that out, and we are


going to have to do it at the committee stage of the Bill. And


there are other examples which I could give, but I don't have time to


do, so I shall leave those for the committee stage in which I intend to


participate actively. Let me then moved to the Henry VIII clauses. The


current situation is frankly ridiculous. It is perfectly


possible, I recognise there will be Henry VIII clauses, of course we


cannot in the course of doing this massive revolutionary


transformation, do it all by primary legislation. But we can make sure


that we have the necessary safeguards in place, the most


obvious and the first thing is to have an established Parliamentary


system of scrutiny to ensure that the different types of statutory


instrument that will be needed are correctly farmed out. I have no


doubt that my right honourable friend is right, that the vast


majority of them will be technical and very little account. Some will


be extremely important and will need to be taken on the floor of the


House. We need to have a system in place to do that. Will my honourable


friend give way? I must make progress. I need to come onto


another thing with Henry VIII clauses, which is despite that, we


need to look at the ones we've got. Some are much too widely drawn. What


is this in clause seven saying that any deficiency in an EU measure


should be capable of being judged. It is one thing to say if it is in


offer a ball, but to say if it is deficient, I could find arguments to


suggest that every single law in this country is deficient. So these


are going to have to be changed. Finally I turned to the issue of the


programme motion, and are properly restructure programme motion can


work well, and I am prepared to support the Government on a


programme motion as long as I have an assurance that if it is not


filibustering, that if we run out of time we will get more time during


the course of the passage of the Bill. That is vital. With that, I


wish this bill well, I hope to be able to improve it and support the


Government at third reading and bring an important constitutional


measure to completion. There have been some excellent speeches after


the Secretary of State's, things went downhill after that but started


to look up again when we had the maiden speech from the honourable


lady of Canterbury. I only have one slight criticism, she didn't mention


Baron in her list of villages, which I know quite well. And I thank the


Member for Beaconsfield and his reference to the astonishing


monstrosity that is this bill. The Liberal Democrats believe that


Parliament must be given comprehensive sovereignty and


scrutiny over this process, and this opinion is widely supported not only


by many members in this House on both sides, but by the law society


for instant to state that the Bill must respect Parliament's role in


making and approving changes to UK law. Parliament must be driving the


future of the United Kingdom and the future of Brexit, not Ministers


using executive indeed dictatorial powers to exercise total control


over the legislative process. The Government's decision to provide


just two days for the second reading mean that members now will only have


five minutes in which to raise their points, and eight days in committee


for a bill which unravels 40 years of closer EU Corporation, showing


the extent to which Parliament is held in contempt by Ministers. The


Secretary of State and other Ministers may be quick to dismiss


Lib Dem criticism of the Bill, but before they do, I would encourage


them to think back to 2008 and the by-election the Secretary of State


triggered. The catalyst for him in that by-election was Labour's highly


illiberal plan to increase precharge detention from 28 to 42 days, but it


was the build-up of attacks on our civil liberties that led him along


that by-election path. There is a widely held view that this


represents a major attack on Parliamentary sovereignty and


therefore a present and future risk on Civil Liberties. A legal expert


commenting said that it will give powers allowing Ministers to


fast-track the implementation of certain EU laws domestic law through


legislation without Parliamentary debate. It could be used by


Ministers to ride roughshod over UK citizens' rights, leaving gaping


holes where it would be. Similar concerns from the Forsett society


saying that it could be used to affect laws. Some members opposite


if they pride themselves on hold inconsistent views should also be


alarmed, 13 members opposite and five on these benches wrote to the


Daily Telegraph in June 2016 stating that whatever one's views on the EU


debate, many will agree that Parliamentary sovereignty should be


the key focus in any renegotiations. They now have an opportunity by


their actions rather than their words to demonstrate their value


Parliamentary sovereignty more highly than ministerial expediency.


And will any of them have the courage of their convictions, or did


their commitment to Parliamentary scrutiny have an expiry date of the


23rd of June 2016? Madame Deputy Speaker, the truth is this bill was


always going to be a sows ear, because the Government started


negotiations without projected outcomes, and so it had to cater for


any scenario, Deal or no Deal. What started with democracy must not end


with a stitch up by Ministers. There must be a meaningful vote on the


final deal, and if they do not accept the deal negotiated by the


parameters and her Cabinet, they should have the option to remain a


member of the European Union. The Bill must provide for this. Instead,


this bill denies members of Parliament are right and duty to


scrutinise. It takes away powers from devolved governments and makes


a mockery of the rallying cry of take back our laws. As my honourable


friend the Member for Stone pointed out, this is by any standards and


historic bill, in fact it is hard to think of a clause of any bill more


momentous than the European Communities Act 1972 as repealed an


exit day. But beyond that, it is possibly not such a dramatic piece


of legislation. And in fact I was quite pleased when the original


working title of the Great Repeal Bill was abandoned, because it is


not beyond clause one a repeal bill. In fact it is the great preservation


bill and carries out a very prosaic function, but nevertheless an


important function, and that is to preserve in United Kingdom law the


European law that we have absorbed over the last 44 years to ensure


that on the day of exit, which will very probably be on the stroke of


midnight on March the 30th 2019, brussels time, there will be a


working statute book in this country. I don't believe that this


should be a contentious matter. In fact, all members of this honourable


house should be anxious to see that we have that certainty for business


and for the citizens of this country when we leave the European Union.


And I'm surprised therefore that the opposition has decided to put down a


reasoned amendment in which it makes it quite clear that it intends to


wreck the Bill. And I really wonder whether the opposition have given


any consideration to the impact that their decision-making well have upon


the interests of business and, as in this country. We have got to make


sure, Madame Deputy Speaker, that on the day of exit, the statute book in


this country works, and frankly, the only way that we can achieve it in


the timescale with which we are constrained and which is set out in


Article 50 is to have a flexible, pragmatic system such as the system


that is laid out in the draft Bill. That of course doesn't mean that the


opposition supinely have to accept everything without possibly


considering amendment, but simply to go along a course of trying to wreck


the Bill I think is quite reprehensible. We certainly have to


consider the mechanisms that are to be employed. And listening to the


speech of the right honourable member for Hogan and St Pancras, and


other members opposite, the impression that I get overall is


that the concern is not so much about the methodology of ensuring


that we have continuity of legislation in this country, it is


rather the issue of scrutiny of the measures that will have to be


brought forward under secondary legislation. Certainly some of these


will be very prosaic, very straightforward, and I can't think


that anyone would object for example to a measure which would replace a


European institution with a British institution as needing anything more


than a secondary legislation by the negative procedure. But there are


some other measures which will certainly be of greater moment. And


the right on the gentleman mentioned today's report by the House of Lords


Constitution committee. There was an earlier report of that committee in


March of this year which came up with certain sensible suggestions


for scrutiny, for example setting up a joint committee of both houses,


something that was touched upon by the writer or a member, and I would


have thought that rather than seeking to destroy the Bill with all


the adverse consequences that that would have on the national interest,


members opposite should give consideration possibly at committee


stage to putting forward some enhanced form of security of the


sort that was contemplated by the Constitution committee in this


report. That I believe is the proper way forward, but simply to seek to


destroy and wreck the Bill, I believe does nothing for the


reputation of this House, and we have heard so many speeches this


afternoon about preserving that reputation, I am happy to support


this bill at second reading, and I urge other honourable members to


vote for it. I will support this bill at second reading for two


reasons. One relatively small and personal, and the other for the


general principles of democracy. The first one is is a very young man


when I was joining the Labour Party, my Labour MP, Paul Rhodes, who was


the youngest member of Parliament elected in the 1964 Parliament, was


one of the 69 Labour rebels who voted with Ted Heath to implement


the 1972 act. I have been smouldering with quiet anger over


the 44 years since that happened, so it is a personal delight for me to


be able to vote to repeal that act. Paul Groves certainly made his


constituents and constituency party very angry at the time. But a much


more substantial reason is that we had a referendum last year. People


voted by a majority to leave the European Union, and although this


bill is not the Bill that takes us out of the European Union, this bill


is absolutely fundamental to leaving the European Union.


I think the electorate, having made that decision, and those who voted


remain, I don't think they will understand the Labour Party's


tactical position to vote against it, having said in the general


election only three months ago that we would implement the manifesto. I


don't think that is a principled position and I don't think the


electorate like it, and I think the Labour Party has made a serious


mistake in coming to that conclusion. I hope they can reverse


it between now and the vote on the Monday evening.


Having said that, I think my right honourable friend, who led for us on


this, made some substantial points about flaws in the bill as have


other speakers. Whilst I will vote for a second reading, I hope the


Government ministers are listening carefully to what has been said and


will come forward with some compromises. It is not a healthy


situation to have so many Henry VIII clauses, every government has had


Henry VIII clauses, but not of this substantial nature. And I have never


liked self amending regulation, which is one of the reasons that I


went through the lobby against the Lisbon Treaty with the Leader of the


Opposition and the Shadow Chancellor, because the Lisbon


treaty contained clauses which effectively allowed bureaucrats in


Brussels to change our laws without any response from Parliament at all.


So I don't believe two wrongs make a right, to respond to what the


previous Attorney General said earlier, but I do believe in that


consistency. If it was wrong to have those clauses and wrong to have huge


Henry VIII clauses, then it is certainly wrong then and it is wrong


now and I hope the Government will listen to the reasonable points that


have been made. There have been a great many points


made, and initial period of five minutes one can't cover all those


positions. The 1.I would make, because there has been genuine


concern on this side about loss of protection, environmental laws and


changes to trade union laws, and what lies underneath that is a


belief that everything that has come out of the European Union has been


good for trade unions and been good for the environment. That simply


isn't true. If one looks, at the Lavelle judgment from the ECJ or the


Viking judgment, you will see there is undermining minimum wage


legislation and undermined the definition of what constitutes a


trade dispute. If you look at the width of


environmental legislation, you will see that a lot of the history of the


EU has done serious damage to the environment. The issue that comes to


mind most is the fisheries policy, which took all the cord from the


North Sea, as well as other fish. So I hope the Government is listening,


that they will come forward with some compromises, that if it is


necessary to give us more time than eight days, that that time should be


given. I will curtail my remarks to focus


on the parts of the bill concerned with the transposing of EU laws and


regulations. Environmental protection, I have every faith in


the Government's determination to transpose the full suite of


regulations that have been successful in protecting many


aspects of our environment, and indeed the ministers have frequently


stated a wish that we will leave the environment in a better state than


that which we found it. My right honourable friend the


Secretary of State has made a superb start in what he says about the


environment and it warms the cockles of my heart, but what we are talking


about here is for ever. Certainly for the foreseeable future of


decades ahead, as can be amended by future governments. Who knows what


forces will be pulling on governments of the future, that


could result in much valued environmental protection is being


dumped? So we need to implement measures which are backed by a new


architecture of government, and I find myself attracted to some of the


remarks being made by the honourable lady, the member of Brighton


Pavilion, probably to the consternation of some of my


colleagues. I think her sentiments are right. We might disagree on what


that architecture is but I think she is right to breathe it. Because


indeed, we want to prevent future governments from playing fast and


loose with protections which have cleaned up our beaches and our


rivers, starting to clean our air and could and should be extended to


our soils, sees another fundamentals of our very existence and the future


of our economy. One measure that is on the face of it impossible to


replicate in this bill is the process of infraction. These are


fines with lots of zeros on the end that are imposed on a member state


government for failure to comply with the directive. I can assure


honourable members, this is something that keeps ministers awake


at night. For example, the potential failure of the UK to comply with the


urban waste water treatment directive has resulted in a 4


billion plus scheme to build a new sewer a few yards from where we


said, to clean up one of the greatest rivers in the world running


through one of the greatest cities in the world. When I was a minister


at DEFRA in 2010, infraction hung over me and the Government and


ensured every action the Government took was compliant with the


directives of the EU. If we weren't, we faced the risk of a huge fine.


Whilst I'm glad the Government intends to transpose all EU law,


including the EU... Including those into clause two, it emerges how can


we in those changes? The water framework directive is the only show


in town, in terms of clearing up our rivers, only one fifth of the chalk


streams in this country are fully functioning ecosystems. A national


disgrace in my mind, but we are on a glide path to correcting that. This


is through the clear and unequivocal measures set out in this directive.


Now, failure to comply means obviously a supranational body is


able to find it -- find a member state but it is hard to imagine the


circumstances where a government could or would find itself. It is


concerning me that in the bill, as it stands, judicial review seems to


be seen as sufficient on its own. In actual fact, in order to ensure the


environment is protected a proper body, with the ability to audit


government, working with other NGOs, needs to be put in place. As I've


said, I have great faith in people like the honourable member for


Surrey Heath and others to protect the directives but I fear future


governments may not be so rigorous. What constituents need is to have


the reassurance that we are protecting their protections. Need


assurances on that, that we can fill the gap that the loss of measures


like infraction would create, and I have no absolute silver bullet to


solve that, but I'm looking through the process of this piece of


legislation and possible future pieces of legislation to achieve


that. In a few seconds I have left I would say this. I believe it is our


absolute duty to scrutinise this piece of legislation. I utterly


reject some bizarre comments I've seen in the press, saying scrutiny


is somehow undermining the will of the people. I intend to vote for


this piece of legislation at second reading. I believe it can be


improved at committee, but it is absolutely vital that we assist the


Government in trying to make something that is workable, not just


now, but for the very long term. Well said, I agree with the number


of the points the honourable member for Newbury just raised.


George Osborne was right in his headline in the Evening Standard


yesterday, to describe the effect of this bill as a rule by decree. That


headline was prompted by an article that appeared in the paper, written


by the right honourable member for Beaconsfield, and I pay tribute for


him -- to him for that article. I agree this is an astonishing


monstrosity of a bill. Unlike him, however, I don't intend to vote in


favour of it. He is right, I think, to raise


concerns about the explicit intention in the bill not to


implement, not to put into our law, the Charter of fundamental...


Fundamental rights. My right honourable friend, the member for


Warmington, was right to tackle this earlier run. Ministers have told us


they don't intend that this bill will buy loot employment rights or


environmental protections or other things that we have, but there is no


assurance at all in the build up those dilutions will not go ahead


and we need much more reassurance than we have been given so far.


I want to raise with the House is a very practical example of a problem


with not putting the Charter of fundamental rights into UK law.


Article eight deals with the protection of personal data.


Everyone, it says, has the right to the protection of personal data. It


says such data must be processed fairly, for specified purposes and


on the basis of the consent of the person concerned or some other


legitimate basis laid down by law. Now that article underpins data


protection law. It underpins the legal frameworks providing,


permitting the free flow of data across European borders. It is


absolutely essential that the Government secures and adequacy


agreement from the commission, confirming that data protection in


the UK is adequate from a European standpoint, in order that UK


businesses can continue to exchange personal data with European EU


countries. If they don't achieve that agreement, ministers will have


removed the basis for the lawful operation of countless British


businesses. Tech UK pointed out the extent of UK leadership in this


field. 11% of global data flows pass through the UK. 75% of that traffic


is with the EU. But ministers will not get an advocacy agreement if


they simply... If this commitment is not contained in UK law. We need


Article eight to be there, or an equivalent affirmation of the same


principles. I see no justification whatsoever for taking that article,


or indeed the rest of the Charter, and not putting it into UK law.


I must say it is for me a real mystery why Conservative ministers


have become so impervious to the basic needs of British businesses in


their handling of Brexit. My right honourable friend, his very


fine speech in returning responding to the Secretary of State at the


start of this debate was absolutely right to point out that we have to


stay in the single market and customs union at least for the


duration of this transition phase. On taking office, the Secretary of


State told us that his negotiation would secure barrier free access for


UK businesses and consumers to the UK single market. He doesn't say


that any more. The Minister said at a Brexit question session earlier


today that we will have the minimum infraction in our trade with the EU.


The reality is we need barrier free access. We do need access to the


single market for UK businesses and consumers that does not involve


Harris and doesn't involve nontariff barriers either. The only way we are


going to get that before the conclusion of these negotiations is


if we stay in the single market and stay in the customs union. I very


much regret that ministers, and the Secretary of State did think about


it, ministers have rejected that. That's one of the reasons we need to


project this bill. Can I say it is a pleasure to follow the honourable


gentleman who represents East Ham and also say how much I agree with


so many of the comments and speeches on this side of the House about the


folly that is the opposition's decision to oppose this bill at this


stage, to vote against it without seeing that actually... They say as


to be done and indeed it does have to be done. We have to do the


movement of all the regulation Damir Dzumhu and clauses, that we are as


we all agree, many faults in it but I think they were let down many of


those people in their own constituencies who voted leave who


will see this but this playing politics I think it undoubtedly is.


Could I begin by saying how much I fully endorsed and totally adopt all


the contents of the speeches from my right honourable friend the member


is for Rushden, Devon North,. And noted the outbreak of unity on these


benches, and indeed across the House as well, because there have been


some excellent speeches, very points made by right honourable members on


the other side. But notably I have taken into account the wise words of


my right honourable friend for Chingford and the member for Clywd


West. There is a growing concern about this bill and notably my


biggest concern about it, which is this paragraph by ministers, this


transfer of powers over two ministers with very little, if any


influence on decision and debate by this place, in this chamber. I would


like to thank the Prime Minister, my right honourable friend and in a


moment... I will. My right honourable friend the Prime Minister


Undersecretary of State, who have clearly already listened to the many


concerns on these benches. I'm having a meeting with others, with


the Prime Minister and look forward to that and I look forward in due


course to some very serious government amendments coming forward


or perhaps the adoption of amendments which will no doubt be


laid by honourable members, right honourable members on the side. As


you note, I shared a very real concerns about clause nine. I think


it should be for simply withdrawn. I think certainly clause 17 is open if


not for withdrawal, it is -- for some serious and fundamental


amendments. I'm worried about this for reasons I outlined in my


intervention. I think they can find other mechanisms for delivering


that, to make sure we properly scrutinise it we have existing


committees we can strengthen or increase, so we can filter out what


we call a triage. It is a good idea and I think it is getting much


support on these benches as well as from across the other place.


I think the following needs to be said, and I say this to all those


perfectly reasonable and sensible people, the many millions throughout


this country who voted leave last year. If anybody tells you that


people like me are doing everything we can and scrutinising legislation,


perhaps voting for them, they are doing to thwart the will of the


people, then they are telling you lies, and I'm not going to put up


with it any longer, and this needs to be said. We are leaving the EU,


and even the right honourable gentleman from Rushcliffe accepts


that, and some of us voted by triggering Article 50, and we gave a


promise to the electorate and we will honour that. And I say to those


who say that we want to thwart what you decided, look at the other


things that they promised you before June 23. They said that this would


be a great opportunity to get rid of miles of red tape, all these things


strangling the British economy, and these are the very things we are


going to take lock, stock and barrel across into our own law. They told


you you were going to get ?350 million for the NHS, and you aren't.


They told you they will take back control, but if this bill isn't


amended, they won't be, they won't be taking back control for the


people, they will be giving if Ministers. And could be God forbid a


Labour government led by The right honourable member for Islington


North. And they told you it would be all so easy, and as you now know, it


is not just challenging, it is a nightmare, but we will do our best


to deliver it, and if it all goes wrong, don't forget we will be here


to clear up the mess. Don't forget who misled you and told you lies


before June the 23rd. Thank you Madame Deputy Speaker. Leaving the


European Union means we need to convert decades of EU law into our


domestic legislation. A builder can do this in a timely and effective


manner is essential. That is not what this debate is about. The real


question is whether this bill is fit for purpose, and I'm afraid, might


typically Speaker, it is not. The Government claims the Bill will


restore sovereignty to Parliament and secure certainty post Brexit,


but that is not the case. It transfers huge powers to Ministers,


not to members of this House, over issues that are vital to peoples


lives, over maternity leave, paternity leave and other issues,


and I fear the Bill could increase the uncertainty, including the


likelihood of legal challenge and judicial review, because the powers


in the Bill are so broadly drawn. My right honourable and learn at friend


and the Member for beacons feels I think have forensically exposed the


reality of the key clauses in this bill. Clause seven giving Ministers


the power to change EU derived law that has failed or is deficient,


without any definition of what that means. Clause nine could be used to


amend the powers in the Bill after it is enacted, and clause 17, giving


the Ministers sweeping powers to make changes that he or she


considers appropriate in consequence of this act. Of course the Brexit


secretary claims the Government won't use these powers to make a


major policy changes, which begs the question, why into the middle first


place, and the fear that many people have is that these powers will be


used to water down and remove works' rights. Some MPs have tried to brush


these concerns off. Often these are the very same MPs who have railed


against abuse of delegated powers in the past. For years the Brexit


secretary argued vociferously against, and I quote, the trend from


democracy to presidential oligarchy. How times have changed! The right


honourable member for Wokingham has talked about these powers, and let's


not forget it is the perpetual, almost the eternal job of this House


to keep the Executive on the cheque, urging members to take tough


decisions told the Government to account, even as part of the report.


However difficult the circumstances, I would urge honourable members on


the benches opposite to remember the courage of their previous


convictions. I said at the beginning of my comments, a bill is necessary


to achieve Brexit, and I would urge Ministers to bring forward


amendments to circumscribe the powers the Bill delegates more


tightly, and to strengthen procedures for the most widely


delegated powers, and if they bring forward amendments along these


lines, they will have support across the House. Brexit presents us with a


Herculean task, not just transferring half a century of EU


law into UK legislation or even agreeing the initial Article 50 deal


that finances rights of EU citizens in Northern Ireland which is already


proving a huge challenge for the Government. It is about defining the


future relationship between the UK and the EU for years to come.


Yesterday the Brexit secretary said no one pretended this would be easy,


but this is precisely what they did. Before the referendum, the


Environment Secretary claimed the day after we vote to leave, we hold


all the cards and can choose the path we want. Just last month, the


international Trade Secretary said agreeing a free trade agreement


should be one of the easiest in human history. These comments are


not just misleading, they are deeply misguided. They won't build respect


or trust with our negotiating partners, and they won't bring


Britain together. I fear we are still as divided now as we were at


the referendum. Remain voters are angry that their views are being


ignored. Leave voters are frustrated about progress and worried we could


be tied up in knots for years. We need more honesty about the


challenges we face and the inevitable trade-offs and


compromises that will have to come that is the leadership Britain now


needs in the Government should step up to the mark. I am not used to


being called so early in a debate. I have received numerous e-mails and


letters from constituents who have heard the comments and read the


articles. As a result of Henry VIII clauses, and that this is an


unnecessary power grab which jeopardises their rights and


undermines their Parliament. I take these concerns seriously, as all of


us should do, and I thought the Shadow Secretary of State who gave a


superb speech earlier today and some of the many questions that I would


like to see addressed during the passage of the Bill, but it needs to


be passed at second reading, because the principle of the Bill is


unquestionable. And the Bill itself is not so in greed is deficient, far


from it. But it doesn't provide a clear basis to move forward with the


passage of the Bill, and let's not get ahead of ourselves, Madame


Deputy Speaker. Can you explain, can the honourable member explained to


me if you say the principle of this is good, we have been discussing the


principle of undermining Parliamentary democracy, that is at


stake, so is the honourable member not clear that that is the principle


that is at stake, and that is why we are against the form of the Bill as


it stands? I hope that the honourable lady will be reassured by


the comments I make. We have a good successor in my gym Deputy Speaker.


Charles the first is not on his way for the honourable member for


Beaconsfield, although some might like to see that. Statutory


instruments, we can go and speak at these debate and vote on them.


Parliament may treat them as a Cinderella, which one reads your


e-mails or signed your paperwork, but that is our choice, and is a


reflection on the history. The purpose of this bill is explicitly


to replicate what we have in European law, not to change it. As I


understand, at least 50% of these are immaterial technical changes


that nobody in this House in their right mind, nobody in their right


mind would have any concern about. There does need to be a mechanism to


sift an materiality, and that is a point made by many eloquent and


today, and I would like to see that mechanism created during the course


of the committee stage, because there will be some issues that are


material, that my constituents care about and on which I would like to


speak and ensure we made the right decisions, but those will not be the


majority, and I'm sure a sensible mechanism can and will be found by


the whole House during the committee stage. And on the second point that


my constituents have e-mailed me about, is this necessary? Of course


it is necessary. This is an unprecedented challenge. This is


byzantine, as the chair of the select committee has said. The


complexity of the issue, however many people were in favour of Leave


would like to hide, it is undoubtedly the most compact


challenge facing this country in my lifetime if not before, therefore we


do not need a step like this to move all of -- we do need to move all of


the EU legislation into the UK Statute book before we leave. And


although we heard an excellent speech highlighting deficiencies and


concerns, he didn't set out an alternative way of doing this. In


fact, nobody has. Nobody has set out an alternative to this bill to such


a degree that it would require any of us in this House to vote against


the Bill. I have highlighted deficiencies and concerns which will


be ironed out, must be ironed out at committee stage, but that is the


truth. Beyond that I'm afraid it is all Porter political activity. This


is necessary or something similar to it is necessary, so let's move


forward together. When I explained this principle to my constituents


back in Newark, many of you will have been to Newark, but not


necessarily to the business plant, my constituents, businessmen and


individuals, they nod when I explained this in principle to them


because it is obvious that we need a bill of this nature so that on the


day we leave the European Union they can have confidence that nothing


substantial will have changed. And that is why we need to proceed. In


closing, and perhaps this answers, or is there a rebuke to the


honourable lady? You can love Parliament, you can want to


jealously guard its right and privileges, created by our


predecessors, but still show pragmatism in the national interest


when the times demanded. Because that's politics. That's life, that's


the job we are scented to do, that is poetry and prose, romance and


reality, that is what we are sent here to achieve, so everyone who


wants a smooth transition, everyone who wants to give our constituents


the certainty that they are crying out for, who may have concerns about


the deficiencies of this bill wants to work together in the national


interest to iron them out jury in the committee stage and third


reading, everybody I suggest in this House should vote for this bill at


second reading. I just want to make one observation,


one on clause six and one on clause nine. I'm sorry, I disagree with the


member of Newark who has just spoken. What is proposed in this


bill is unprecedented. You could see that from the reaction on both sides


of the House. There is an absurdity in this debate. I spent much time in


the EU referendum campaigning against those who wanted to Vote


Leave the other side of the House. The central core of their argument


more often than not was the fact that there this Brussels elite that


was exercising all this power. Now I'd sat in this chamber for most of


today and listen to them becoming the architects of transferring the


power to members in this house. The member for Chingford talked earlier


about his debates in the 1990s, the Prime Minister of the time had a


word to describe them all, which I won't repeat today. They constantly


were invoking parliamentary sovereignty, the importance of this


house, determining the future of our nation. It is funny how silent they


are when it comes to upholding that argument and have been over the last


few hours of this debate. Let's be honest about the reason for this,


their position on this debate, they promised Brexit in terms which


simply cannot be delivered in the time frame that the Government


envisages. That's why you see these unprecedented, extraordinary powers


in visited in this bill for the executive. I think it is entirely


right for us to keep reminding people what the promises were and


whether they are being delivered. My technical point on clause six...


I won't give away am afraid, because of the time. The secretary of the


state... OK... The Secretary of State today said that the Government


wishes the transitional arrangements to be as close as possible to the


existing arrangements. Let's be clear that the EU 27 really only


going to entertain membership of the single market and a form of customs


union if that is what the Secretary of State means, but they will also


expect that the rules were applied to the transitional arrangements


should be uniform and similar to the ones that we have at the moment. The


problem with article six as it is drafted is that it does not give a


clear enough instruction to the judiciary that when they are


interpreting UK law after the exit date, they should do it in a way


that complies with EU law, insofar as transition is concerned. This is


the point the Institute for government have made. They say that


the ambiguity on this point would risk leaving judges stranded on the


front line of a fierce political battle. I can say is someone who


practised law for the best part of the decade, it has to be addressed.


My last more substantial point is this... This bill cannot be allowed


to come into force unless this house has approved the deal that is


envisaged. This bill doesn't state whether any withdrawal agreement


will need to be consented to by both houses before the powers in this


bill can be used. The Government has said that we will get a vote on a


final deal. But that does not appear to be within legislation, it will be


by means of a motion, and of course that is not legally binding. So we


have the promise of a vote, but it has no teeth and it deprives this


house of having its proper say, not just on any withdrawal agreement,


but on the situation which has been talked about by the Prime Minister,


where there is an affirmative decision made to walk away without a


deal at all. Somehow we are meant to be passive spectators in that


situation. It has to be written on the face of this bill that


Parliament will have our part to play in all those scenarios, and no


powers under this bill will be exercised until Parliament has had


its say through a debate written in statute.


I would just finished by saying this: we've been given many


guarantees and assurances by the front bench here. It has to be, on


the face of the bill. Asking for these assurances and scrutinising


this bill, we do so in the national interest and are entitled to do so


without our motives being questioned.


Madam Deputy Speaker, in the short time I've got can I firstly echo


many of the sentiments from honourable, right honourable members


who are supporting this bill and are very supportive of the points made.


I voted to leave the EU, as did 67% of voters in my constituency. During


the campaign became quite clear there was disillusionment with what


the EU had become. The message I got loud and clear from constituents on


the doorstep was that yes, there was a degree of concern over immigration


and controls on immigration, but the overall frustration is around our


sovereignty and inability to control our own laws. This bill is going to


repeal the European Communities Act from the day we leave, bringing a


welcome dent to the supremacy of EU law in the UK. I support the main


purpose of it, in ensuring the UK has a functioning statute book once


they leave the EU, which is obviously in the national interest.


Like many people, I've seen first-hand the negative impact EU


laws and regulations can have on our local economy during the 20 years I


spent running my own small business. Many of the regulations and things


back row which affected my firm stemmed from Brussels, yet I was


unable to trade with its markets. To put this into some context, only 5%


of our businesses export to the EU, yet 100% are caught by its red tape,


with small businesses usually disproportionately affected.


During the referendum campaign, research across West Midlands more


businesses showed they represented 99% of employees, implying 58% of


local people. By ratio of 4:1, they thought the EU laws made it harder


to take on staff. By 2:1, regulation hindered not helped them, and a


massive 70% thought the UK, not the EU, should be in charge of


negotiating trade agreements. I am mindful that we need to create


an environment that works for everyone, not just those of us who


voted leave, so I would ask the Government to take into account the


following two points, as this bill moves forward. Firstly, businesses


are already making decisions in preparation for March that -- 2019.


They will need certain commitments. If that much of the detail of the


new legal framework will be brought forward through secondary


legislation, it is vital that the processes of the Withdrawal Bill and


a programme of structure tree instruments be prepared well in


advance of March 2019, to provide them with the confidence they need.


Second, in order to avoid legal vacuum from leaving the EU, it's


important that any considered -- inconsistencies within EU


legislation are dressed prior to the transposition into UK law. I would


therefore stressed the need for government to consult fully with


stakeholders during the process of drafting and playing statutory


instruments, to ensure any inconsistencies between EU and UK


legislation, especially the practical implications, are fully


addressed by these measures. So to conclude, Madam Deputy


Speaker, I firmly believe that there are exciting times ahead for the UK


outside of the EU, and with due consideration is given to the issues


I mentioned, I believe this bill will provide the pathway to the


smooth except that we all want to see, and I will be backing it in the


lobby on Monday, supporting both my constituents and the UK's democratic


decision to leave the EU. Briefly I want to focus on the


Government bars 's wilful misinterpretation of what Brexit


means and the constitutional car crash this bill entails. Article 50


has been triggered. We are leaving the European Union. But sense can


prevail, if the Government would guarantee our future within the


single market, customs union and pan-European agencies which are the


foundation, of course, of Wales' economy. Stating that we can have


these advantages by another name is self-deluding. The benefits of


continuing our membership of the customs union and single market are


well rehearsed, but they warrant unabridged version, because these


guide my party's principles. Wales' export led economy is reliant


on European markets, where 67% of our products find their final


destination. Wales is a net beneficiary of European funding to


the tune of ?245 million. All in all, 200,000 Welsh jobs are


inextricably, crucially, vulnerably linked with these great institutions


of European economic cooperation. For the sake of argument, let's


assume that the dozens of economists, experts and I are


scaremongering. It is not 200,000 jobs that will disappear from the


Welsh economy but perhaps only half of that or a quarter. So with the


Minister please be precise and would he please quantify how many Welsh


jobs he is willing to sacrifice in pursuit of the UK's brave new role


at the vanguard of some globalist utopia?


The Shadow Secretary of State was eloquent today, and he concentrated


on the Government's attempted constitutional sleight of hand.


Despite the various contradictory push me, pull you positions of


numerous Shadow Cabinet members as a whole, I believe there are official


position is evidently to simply delay the pain and pull us out of


the customs union and the single market following a period of


transition. The on the single market and customs


union, there are upwards of 40 pan-European agencies that form the


basis of our international relations across a range of policy areas.


Whether it is insuring aeroplanes can take safely on land, life-saving


medicines or the safety and security of nuclear material, it seems the


Government is willing to sacrifice all the advantages made by


membership of these agencies, but for what?


For what? We are now staring down the barrel of an extreme Brexit gun,


and the truth is the two Westminster parties have their finger on the


trigger together. Now, my party exists to serve the people of Wales.


And that is why I felt it important to reemphasise what the consequences


are for Wales particularly. We are also seeing today, and I'm sure the


member later will discuss in more data, the constitutional paragraph


not just here in terms of Henry VIII powers but in the powers that have


been handed to our delegated nations underweight those will be handled in


the future here is frankly shameful. I will not therefore apologise for


defending my country from the disastrous dystopia that will be


created by this government's Brexit strategy and I will be voting


against this bill on second reading. The question is that the debate has


been adjourned. As many are of that opinion say I macro. I think the


ayes have it. Debate to be resumed, what day? Monday. Debate to be


resumed on Monday. The question is that this house now


adjourned. Thank you Madam Deputy Speaker.


It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to raise the issue of


the sale of the hive playing fields and to seek my honourable friend,


the Minister for local government on the front bench answering this at


this particular debate, and I will well understand if my honourable


friend has problems in answering the debate, given the mix-up there has


been between DCM SND CMG on who should answer this particular debate


but I am delighted I have the right person answering the debate. I read


thank... Via your good offices, I would like to thank the Speaker for


granting me the opportunity for raising this particular issue


tonight. This is a tale of mystery and


financial mismanagement by both Harrow Council and Camden Council,


as well as the attempts by obscure private organisations to take over


this particular public asset. On repeated occasions I have raised


the abuse by Barnet football club of the Hive and the fact they have


failed to adhere to any single one of the management agreements that


have been in place for these playing fields for the last ten years so


tonight my key concern is the creeping transfer of this essential


public asset over which public authorities have attempted to exert


control, and being transferred to private companies without any checks


or balances and to companies that have a history of abusing the


commitments that they have made. I start essentially with a brief


history of this particular site. Originally this site was known as


the Prince Edwards and Watson 's playing fields, and for some reason,


which I've not yet been able to fathom, it was owned by the London


Borough of Camden. Took the decision in November 2001 to transfer this


asset to the London Borough of Harrow, which is a very sensible


move, given that the site is wholly in the London Borough of Harrow and


always has been. So why it was in the hands of the London Borough of


Camden is still a mystery to me. But the key point here is we can


understand why such a transfer that took place. And they duly


transferred it to the London Borough of Harrow knowing Harrow would have


to pick up the cost of maintenance. However, under the land transfer,


the agreement was the London Borough of Harrow would pay the London


Borough of Camden half of the value that they received in the event,


plus 4% of the cognitive bank base rate if the bank were to be sold


before 2041. Here we are at in 2017 on the site has been sold. I


understand they have not received a penny piece.


Subtitles resume on "Thursday in Parliament" at 11pm.