European Union (Withdrawal) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:11 pm on 7th September 2017.

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Photo of Iain Duncan Smith Iain Duncan Smith Conservative, Chingford and Woodford Green 2:11 pm, 7th September 2017

I am not asking for two wrongs to make a right; I support the principle of the Bill and the need for it, but I recognise that in Committee there will be need to review how some of those checks and balances are introduced, and I hope that is done properly and powerfully. What my right hon. Friend the Member for Haltemprice and Howden said at the Dispatch Box gave indication to my right hon. and learned Friend Mr Grieve that there is scope to look at that. So the argument is not about the powers in the Bill; the debate is about how we reassure ourselves as a parliamentary democracy that the checks and balances exist such that, given the very profound nature of what is happening, we can achieve a balance and not delay the necessary changes.

The Opposition are in a peculiar position, but the Scottish nationalists are in a ridiculous position. For years and years they have sat by, content to see all the powers exercised in Brussels exercised there without their having any say. The moment we talk about leaving the European Union and bringing those powers back to the UK, they are up in arms because they feel betrayed that they do not exercise those powers. Where were they over the last 40 years when those powers were given away?