Power to notify withdrawal from the EU

Part of European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:00 pm on 13th March 2017.

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Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 5:00 pm, 13th March 2017

There was one question on the ballot paper, and that was whether we should stay in the EU or leave the EU. There was no second question about the terms of leaving. It is impossible to extrapolate, but I would be staggered if most people thought that this House should not have a proper grip of the available options in two years’ time and hopefully beyond. I expect that they would have said, “Of course we want Parliament to be fully involved. We would expect accountability and scrutiny, and we would expect votes.”

I shall conclude, because we only have two hours and other people wish to speak. These are simple amendments that would improve the article 50 process. They have obtained cross-party support and large majorities in the Lords, they are the right amendments on vitally important issues, and the obsession with the idea of a clean, unamended Bill should not triumph over decency and principle.

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