Article 50

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:39 pm on 24th January 2017.

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Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke Conservative, Rushcliffe 12:39 pm, 24th January 2017

Has my right hon. Friend had the opportunity to note that my recently published memoirs are cited with approval in paragraph 195 of the judgment? Does he share my surprise that that is a minority dissenting judgment?

More seriously, does my right hon. Friend accept that parliamentary sovereignty has always meant that Governments of the day pursue broad policy objectives in the national interest and quite willingly submit them to the judgment of the House, through both debates and votes, and that they proceed with broad policy objectives only when they have the support of a majority in the House of Commons? Will he give me the Government’s assurance that the Bill will be drafted on the basis that it improves opportunities for Parliament to give or withhold its consent to major policy objectives and that the Government will pursue that approach in future years? Having one vote right at the end of the process, when the House will be told that it either takes the deal that the Government have or goes into the alternative chaos of having no agreements with the EU or anybody else, is not a good substitute for the normal tradition of Parliament consenting to the policy aims of the Government of the day.