Approval of draft decisions under Article 352 of TFEU

Part of European Union (Approvals) Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:00 pm on 10th October 2017.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Andrew Percy Andrew Percy Conservative, Brigg and Goole 6:00 pm, 10th October 2017

I have spoken during a previous stage of this legislation and am happy to do so again. Before I begin on the Bill, I have to take issue with the shadow Minister’s use of the phrase “Trump regime”. This really is the sort of childish politics that we have come to expect from the Opposition. Never mind various shadow Ministers popping along on certain strong leaders’ particular TV channels without seemingly any notice at all—no criticism of that. But describing the democratically elected Government of our biggest ally and friend as a regime is silly, childish politics. The shadow Minister could do better, but he showed why the Labour party is unfit to hold any sort of ministerial office at any time soon.

I take issue with a couple of things that Peter Grant said. It is not true that Parliament has not discussed, debated and questioned Ministers on CETA. I declare an interest as a previous vice-chair of the all-party parliamentary group on TTIP, now the all-party parliamentary group on transatlantic trade. We have had Backbench Business debates in which TTIP has been debated and the CETA deal has been smeared by certain Members as a Trojan horse for American interests, which is a deep insult to our Canadian friends and allies. Ministers have responded to those debates, and of course the issues have been raised time and again in questions. I partly understand his point, but it is not the case that we have not examined and discussed the CETA provisions in depth in this place, both in the Chamber and elsewhere. It is a consequence of its nature that the trade treaty with Canada passes in this form. There is nothing unusual about it. It is part of our constitutional system.

I also take issue with one other thing the hon. Gentleman said, which in my mind was the biggest nonsense I have heard for some time: that the reason the British people voted to leave the EU was that the British Parliament, even in cases of the direct applicability of EU law and an activist European Court of Justice, has not got in the way of things forced on Britain, even sometimes against the wishes of the British Government. It was a bizarre argument. I suppose it is just another example of people failing to accept the democratic will of the people. Seven out of 10 of my constituents voted to leave the EU. They have pretty much been smeared since the referendum campaign for daring to vote a different way from certain establishment types in this place.