Power to notify withdrawal from the EU

Part of European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:45 pm on 13th March 2017.

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Photo of David Davis David Davis The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 4:45 pm, 13th March 2017

Will hon. Members forgive me if I do not give way, because I am coming to the end of my comments?

Any prospect that we might actually decide to remain in the European Union would only serve to encourage those on the other side to give us the worst possible deal in the hope that we will do exactly that. This amendment would not only restrain the negotiating power of the Government but would create uncertainty and complications throughout the negotiating process while lessening the chances of the mutually beneficial deal we are seeking.

I reiterate the three key points. First, the Bill was brought forward to implement the referendum result, respect the Supreme Court judgment, and nothing else. Secondly, these amendments are unnecessary as the Government have already made firm commitments with regard to both of the two issues, and we will deliver on those commitments. Thirdly, these amendments will undermine the Government’s position in negotiations to get the best deal for Britain, and that cannot be in the national interest. Therefore, it is clear to the Government that we should send back to the House of Lords a clean Bill. This House has already expressed its support of this view in Committee, and I ask us all to repeat that support once more.