European Union (Withdrawal) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:57 pm on 7th September 2017.

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Photo of John Redwood John Redwood Conservative, Wokingham 2:57 pm, 7th September 2017

I entirely agree with Kate Hoey: we have no legal obligation to pay more money, and there is no moral obligation. There is also no diplomatic advantage in offering money; indeed, if the EU gets the idea that we might pay it a bit of money, it will be even more unreasonable, because that would be the way to try to force more money out of us.

What I wish to say in this very important debate is that the Bill should satisfy most remain voters and most leave voters. I understand that it does not satisfy some MPs, who have their political agendas and political games to play, but they should listen to their constituents, and they should think about the mood of the country—the mood of business and those we represent.

We have had crocodile tears shed for myself and those of my right hon. and hon. Friends who wanted leave and who are very pleased with leave by those who tell us that we must surely understand that we are not getting the parliamentary democracy we wanted as a result of this piece of legislation. I would like to reassure all colleagues in the House that I am getting exactly the piece of legislation I wanted, and it does restore parliamentary democracy.

What is in the Bill for leave voters is that, once the Bill has gone through and we have left the European Union, the British people will have their elected Parliament making all their laws for them. We will be able to amend any law we do not like any more, and we will be able to improve any law. We were not able to do that.

What we like about the Bill is that it gets rid of the 1972 Act, which was an outrage against democracy, because, as we have heard, it led to 20,000 different laws being visited upon our country, whether the people and Parliament wanted them or not, and whether their Government voted for them or against them—the Government often voted for them reluctantly because they did not want the embarrassment of voting against them and losing. This is a great day for United Kingdom democracy. A piece of legislation is being presented that will give the people and their Parliament control back over their laws.