Power to notify withdrawal from the EU

Part of European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:15 pm on 13th March 2017.

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Photo of Stephen Gethins Stephen Gethins Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Europe) 5:15 pm, 13th March 2017

No, I will make progress.

If we pass the Bill today, we will be passing this Government a blank cheque on one of the most crucial issues that this Parliament has ever discussed, an issue that will have an impact on each and every one of us and each and every one of our constituents. Let us not forget that we will be handing a blank cheque to a Government who are forced to deny their own tweets, who corrected a White Paper that had already been published and who are trying to defend yet another shambolic Budget. That is the Government that this place would be handing over a blank cheque to. Frankly, I am not sure we could trust them to run a bath, or a bidet for that matter, never mind a complex set of negotiations.

The Secretary of State said that he has seen the best of parliamentary debate in this place over the course of the Bill. It is nice to hear him say that because he spent millions of pounds trying to prevent us from having that debate in the first place. The basis of a parliamentary democracy is that we can scrutinise and do not roll over and acquiesce in the face of damaging plans. That is exactly what we would be doing by handing over a blank cheque.