2nd Day

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:38 pm on 11th September 2017.

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Photo of Bob Neill Bob Neill Chair, Justice Committee 4:38 pm, 11th September 2017

That is entirely right, and it cannot be rational or coherent to give UK citizens a right under UK law by incorporating European law but give them no ability to exercise that right. That applies whether a case is against another individual, against a business, or indeed against the Government. My right hon. Friend Richard Benyon pointed out that that also raises the issue of infraction proceedings: what is the remedy if the Government breach incorporated law?

Those important issues need to be dealt with in Committee, so I turn briefly to the programme motion. We must have time to deal with these matters properly. I want the Bill to be successful. I want it to end up as a good Bill, and that will require changes to the Bill. With good will, that can be achieved—and it can be achieved timeously, to ensure that what we need is in place at the time when we leave the European Union. I have no truck with those who seek to filibuster and needlessly delay the Bill. If I am to be able to support the Government on the programme motion, I hope that they will assure us that we can have some flexibility if more time is required for genuine, serious consideration of important amendments, but I hope that it is not needed—there is a distinction between proper consideration of serious points of amendments and the sort of filibustering that I am sure we will see. On that basis, I am prepared to give the Government a fair wind, but it is important that we get that assurance so that our important scrutiny work can be done properly.

Finally, I have just returned from Gibraltar, where I was with several other colleagues for its national day celebrations. Gibraltar will be affected by our departure from the European Union, but I am glad to say that Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar and the business and civil communities there are satisfied with their level of engagement in the negotiations so far. However, can I have an assurance that when we come to deal with secondary legislation that may affect Gibraltar, its Government will be fully involved in the drafting of any secondary legislation that may have an impact on them?