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Parliamentary oversight of negotiations

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

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Photo of Alberto Costa Alberto Costa Conservative, South Leicestershire 6:30 pm, 6th February 2017

As I mentioned, had I been Prime Minister in July, I might have started the whole process very differently.

I entirely agree with Ms Harman about the consequences of not getting an early deal on this matter. The consequence would be a tsunami of litigation against the Government. Politically, therefore, an early deal must be brought to this House. That is why I trust the Prime Minister to get that early deal.

The role of Parliament is also a political matter to which Ministers should give serious consideration. The European Parliament has a substantive role in the negotiations that we do not have. Some would say that the primary reason for that is that it represents 27 other nations, whereas we represent one sovereign country as the British Parliament. However, if we hear comments from the media, reporting on what European parliamentarians are being told about what our ministerial negotiating team are saying in Europe, it would become farcical if our Government did not report back to us.