European Union (Withdrawal) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:48 pm on 7th September 2017.

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Photo of Kate Hoey Kate Hoey Labour, Vauxhall 2:48 pm, 7th September 2017

The right hon. Gentleman is right: money seems to be the crucial thing it is using in the negotiation. I hope our negotiators will stand up to that and stop allowing the media and others to make every little bit of negotiation into some kind of conflict, saying that it is always the EU negotiators who are doing the right thing and that we are somehow not doing the right thing. I want it to be the other way round: I want us to be positive about our negotiations, because, in the end, we can get a good deal by just proclaiming how strong the United Kingdom is, how well respected we are, how strong our City of London is and how, despite the fact that we are leaving in 2019, companies are still coming to invest here. There is a very positive message, but it is not getting out.

I know that lots of people want to speak, so I will end by saying one thing. I am not a lawyer, although there are a lot of lawyers in here who are loving every minute of this, because it is the kind of thing they love. However, I am not a lawyer, and the vast majority of the public are not lawyers. They will be watching today, and they will be judging all of us, whatever our party politics, on whether we are doing what is in the long-term, best interests of our country. I do not believe we should be playing some kind of political game about not voting for the Bill because it might make it look to some people in our party as if we are standing up to the Government. This is about the future of our country. Labour Members should vote for the Second Reading of this Bill on Monday night, and then challenge and change things, if we can, in Committee.