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 Oliver Letwin Oliver Letwin Conservative, West Dorset 5:00 pm, 13th March 2017

I agree with my right hon. Friend, although the Supreme Court went to great pains not to refer the matter to the European Court of Justice, for very good reasons, so we can leave even that argument aside.

My point is very simple. Either subsection (4) would have its intended effect or it would not. If it did, it would be inimical to the interests of this country, because it would induce the worst possible agreement to be offered—as a matter of fact, it will not have that effect in plausible circumstances—and if it did not, it would be bad law. I put it to you, Mr Speaker, that this House should not be passing legislation that either is inimical to the interests of this country or constitutes bad law, and that we should therefore reject the amendment.