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 David Davis David Davis The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 12:39 pm, 24th January 2017

Let me say two things to the hon. Gentleman. I do not think that I have ever run away from scrutiny. I have spent more time at the Dispatch Box than any other Secretary of State in the last five months. In terms of what he says about the importance of the Bill, of course it is important, and indeed I want as much time as we can possibly get for it to be discussed; but that is a matter, as I said, for the usual channels to discuss.

Many people who see the Bill as incredibly important—perhaps more than it really is—are seeing it as some sort of point of no return. The point of no return was passed on 23 June last year. This is simply carrying out the instructions of the British people. We will do so under the full scrutiny of Parliament and under the authorisation of Parliament, and we will give time for that; but do not conflate that with the whole process of the negotiation. It will take much, much more time than was given to Lisbon, because that number of pieces of primary legislation will take more time.