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[2nd day]

Part of European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 2:07 pm on 1st February 2017.

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Photo of Ian Murray Ian Murray Labour, Edinburgh South 2:07 pm, 1st February 2017

I have been a Member of this House for almost seven years and rarely have I spoken on a Bill of such great importance, not just to the country and to Scotland but to my own constituents. It is a great pleasure to follow Sir Gerald Howarth. Although we fundamentally disagree about the European Union, it is right that we are able to express our views in this House on behalf of our constituents and the country.

If that is what taking back control is about, let us talk about that democratic process. We have been able to debate this Bill yesterday and today only because the public took the Government to court to express the view that they were railroading through a decision without due process or the taking back of control that they had promised this Parliament. We should pay tribute to those people for making it possible for us to make these arguments on behalf of our constituents.

Like many right hon. and hon. Members, I campaigned vigorously for a remain vote. One of my party members, Gordon Dalyell, the son of Tam Dalyell, campaigned alongside me night after night. I pay tribute to Tam. Our thoughts are with Gordon, Pam, Matthew and the rest of the Dalyell family.

I campaigned vociferously for the UK to remain a member of the European Union because it was in our national interest. When I was tramping around the streets of my constituency in 2010 and 2015, I was not knocking on doors promising my constituents that if I was elected to this House I would do everything I possibly could to make their lives poorer. Indeed, the new Chancellor of the Exchequer has said quite clearly on the record that nobody votes to make themselves poorer. It is incumbent on everyone in this House, throughout the process, not simply to railroad the Bill through as though it did not matter, but to fight for every single amendment so that the House sends a strong message—both to the Government and to our European partners—that we will make sure that the country gets the best deal for our constituents.