European Union (Withdrawal) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:39 pm on 7th September 2017.

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Photo of Robert Jenrick Robert Jenrick Conservative, Newark 4:39 pm, 7th September 2017

Thank you for calling me, Madam Deputy Speaker. I am not used to being called so early in a debate.

Like many other Members, or perhaps all of them, I have received numerous e-mails and letters from constituents who have heard the comments and read the articles. They have heard that the Bill is about creating ministerial decree—fiat—as a result of Henry VIII clauses, and that it is an unnecessary power grab which jeopardises their rights and undermines their Parliament. I take those concerns seriously, as all of us should.

The shadow Secretary of State, Keir Starmer, who made a superb speech today, highlighted the complexity of the Bill and some of the many questions that I should like to be addressed during its passage, but it needs to be given a Second Reading because, in my view and on the basis of what I have heard this afternoon, the principle is unquestionable. As my right hon. Friend Sir Oliver Letwin pointed out, the Bill itself is not so egregious or deficient that it does not provide a clear basis for its future stages—far from it.