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[2nd day]

Part of European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:37 pm on 1st February 2017.

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Photo of Kevin Hollinrake Kevin Hollinrake Conservative, Thirsk and Malton 5:37 pm, 1st February 2017

I would like to take this opportunity to send my condolences, and I am sure those of many colleagues, to the family of one of my constituents who has passed away today—a great Yorkshireman, Sir Ken Morrison of Morrison Supermarkets. Our thoughts are with his family.

It is a great pleasure to follow Melanie Onn. I absolutely support her call for the protection of workers’ rights, as do many of my Conservative colleagues.

I have listened carefully to many fine speeches during the past two days, and none was finer than that of my right hon. and learned Friend Mr Clarke, who articulated so well the benefits of peace and prosperity that we have secured through our membership of the European Union. I must say, however, that I disagree with his conclusion, because I feel it is incumbent on me to vote to invoke article 50. Quite reasonably, the public believe that we as politicians have not been listening to their fears regarding sovereignty, democratic accountability and, most of all, immigration. I believe it would be disastrous if we did not support the public’s wish to leave the European Union.

In business, people often have to take a certain route, probably against their better judgment. The most important thing that they should always do in such circumstances is not to worry too much about whether they have made the best decision, but make the best of the decision they have made.

I have listened to SNP Members who have spoken about wanting a meaningful vote. By that, I think they mean a veto—as one of my hon. Friends said—over whether we should actually leave the European Union at all. If that is what they mean by a meaningful vote, I cannot think of a more effective device for getting us the worst possible deal from these negotiations.