Power to notify withdrawal from the EU

Part of European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:15 pm on 13th March 2017.

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Photo of Julian Lewis Julian Lewis Chair, Defence Committee 6:15 pm, 13th March 2017

Until Alex Salmond spoke, I was afraid I was the only person who was having a bit of a flashback to the endless nuclear arms control negotiations of the 1980s, and there are, indeed, a couple of parallels, to which I will allude very briefly.

The first, on amendment 1, is that the question we are asking ourselves is whether we should make a one-sided gesture, regardless of the fact that it would leave our own citizens exposed. We made it clear from the outset that we would agree to guarantee the rights of EU citizens here if other countries would do the same for our citizens in those countries. Why is it that that suggestion has not been seized with both hands? One has to say that that indicates that there are some problems with the way in which the EU intends to go about its negotiations with us.