Parliamentary oversight of negotiations

Part of Informal European Council – in the House of Commons at 7:30 pm on 6th February 2017.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Helen Goodman Helen Goodman Labour, Bishop Auckland 7:30 pm, 6th February 2017

Let me tell the right hon. Lady about the views that were expressed in my constituency, even though they might be different from those being expressed in her own. When we discussed the social chapter and people’s employment rights, my constituents said, in terms, “You can’t trust the Tories.” It is because of that feeling—[Interruption.] Those were their words, not mine. It is because of that feeling that we need to have parliamentary involvement in the way this process is carried forward.

The Government have reluctantly come to the House with this Bill. I first requested that Parliament be involved on 11 July in an urgent question on article 50. The Government resisted, as everybody knows, and only came to the House because they were forced to by the Supreme Court. Some Government Back Benchers say that the negotiations are far too complex to do openly—the right hon. Member for West Dorset talked about 3D chess, for example—but I take the opposite view: it is precisely because the negotiations are complicated and multifaceted that lots of people should be involved.