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.

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

I wish to forget that the hon. Gentleman was speaking, given, again, the nonsense he was trotting out that in some way this is Parliament’s failure. He clearly does not understand how European decision making has evolved through the various European treaties over the years and how the role of this House in that legislative process has been diminished. He is a member of a party that wants to retain decision making in Brussels, rather than repatriate it to the UK, so it is a little difficult to swallow being lectured about parliamentary democracy by a representative of a party that wishes decision making to remain in Brussels.

I am delighted, as I was at previous stages, to support the Bill. It is important, as we exit the EU, that we continue to be good partners in Europe, and if it is the will of Serbia and Albania to join the EU in the future, it is not for us to get in their way. Regardless of whether we are in favour of leaving or remaining in the EU, we will all wish them well as they embrace the values that we in this country and our allies in Europe hold so dear. It is important for their own stability that they be allowed to progress unimpeded down the path they have chosen. Also, by actively supporting the Bill, we show what we wish to be after we have left the EU: good partners with Europe. As a proud Brexiteer, therefore, I am more than happy to support a Bill that might well pave the way for the expansion of the EU.

On the provisions as they relate to Canada, the Minister was unable, quite reasonably, to say whether we would wish to participate in these arrangements in the future. That will of course be a matter for our final arrangements with the EU. Bill Esterson set out a position, and the Opposition have set out any number of different positions on Brexit, all of which they appear to be capable of maintaining at the same time. That is an interesting approach to such an important issue.