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

After receiving that document I was very careful not to criticise it publicly, because I wanted to have that debate. I was chairing the Joint Ministerial Committee, so I did not want to, as it were, colour my chairing of it.

As I have said before, the document falls into three categories. There are bits which I did not think would work, there are bits that are subject to debate—especially those relating to devolution issues—and there are bits where we are absolutely on the same page, on matters such as employment law. However, elements of this paper will run into problems not just with the United Kingdom Government, but with other members of the European Union. It was criticised by the Spanish Europe Minister, and it was criticised implicitly by senior Norwegians on the European Free Trade Association front. I do not think that it can be held up as the ideal model for a perfect outcome.