2nd Day

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 9:42 pm on 11th September 2017.

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Photo of Tulip Siddiq Tulip Siddiq Labour, Hampstead and Kilburn 9:42 pm, 11th September 2017

I agree with my hon. Friend’s point. There are 17,000 EU nationals who live in my constituency, and they constantly come to my surgery because they are worried about the half-baked practice papers that are being put in front of them. In terms of the London economy, which my hon. Friend also mentioned, by 2020 a quarter of the GDP of the entire country will come from London alone. We have 800,000 private sector businesses. The Bill gives Ministers the power to modify retained EU law, and clause 11 stipulates that such powers should not be handed to the devolved authorities.

With the EU charter a thing of the past, London’s EU nationals will, as my hon. Friend suggests, have the right to question what their future holds and what rights will be guaranteed. An honest conversation is urgently needed on post-Brexit immigration arrangements and migrant protections for the huge population of non-EU citizens in London, and the Bill does not provide that. A lukewarm commitment to seek consent from devolved bodies will not do. Serious steps must be taken to mitigate the disproportionate impact that Brexit will have on the city where my constituency is based.

I will proudly vote against the Bill today with my Labour colleagues. The display put on by my right hon. and learned Friend Keir Starmer last Thursday revealed this Bill to be everything that campaigners warned it would be. It is a shoddy power grab that disrespects the democratic traditions of our country and throws hard-fought rights into total jeopardy, and the Government should be ashamed of themselves for introducing it.