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 David Davis David Davis The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 6:15 pm, 13th March 2017

With the leave of the House, in 60 seconds, Mr Speaker. I start by thanking hon. Members for their valuable contributions. We have heard some formidable speeches. Perhaps that reflects on me. I liked best the ones that were made at my expense.

I will deal very quickly with some of the more important issues. The right hon. Members for Wolverhampton South East (Mr McFadden) and for Sheffield, Hallam (Mr Clegg), and Stephen Gethins, spoke passionately about the rights of the 3 million. I agree. I care equally passionately about the 4 million. I am afraid that I do not agree with the Chairman of the Brexit Committee or Alex Salmond in saying that we are using these people as bargaining chips. We are not. By treating them as 4 million, we are stopping any of them being bargaining chips and getting an outcome that will reflect well on this House and on the European Union.

With regard to amendment 2, my right hon. Friend Sir Oliver Letwin, in a brilliant exposition of the Alice in Wonderland consequences of subsection (4), told us why my right hon. Friend Mr Harper was right to say that we should stay out of the law in these matters.

The simple truth is that last time round we in this House passed this Bill unamended by a majority of 372. I hope that we will send it back with a similar majority and that the House of Lords respects that rejection of the amendments.

Two hours having elapsed since the commencement of proceedings on consideration of Lords amendments, the debate was interrupted (Programme Order, this day).

The Speaker put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair (Standing Order No. 83F), That this House disagrees with Lords amendment 1.

The House divided:

Ayes 335, Noes 287.