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[2nd day]

Part of European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:36 pm on 1st February 2017.

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Photo of Jenny Chapman Jenny Chapman Shadow Minister (Exiting the European Union) 6:36 pm, 1st February 2017

This has been an important debate, with MPs from every region and nation, from towns and cities, and from rural, coastal, industrial and agricultural communities having their say. There have been so many contributions of quality that it would be impossible to mention them all. This is how Parliament is meant to work; Members are sent here to speak for their constituents and settle, if not always agree, on a way forward.

We MPs usually listen to the arguments, take account of the impact of a decision on our constituents, apply the values of our party and our hearts, and vote accordingly. As my hon. Friend Wes Streeting said in his outstanding speech, this decision is different as it follows a referendum, in which 52% voted to leave the European Union. It was a close vote, but a clear decision. As we accept the outcome of the referendum, we must consent to allow the process of leaving the European Union to begin, and we will hold this Government to account every step of the way.

Our challenge to the Government, through our amendments, is to enable this House to have proper scrutiny, to publish regular reports, to allow British MPs the same oversight as Members of the European Parliament and to secure the position of EU nationals living in this country, as a matter of urgency.