“Creation of UK-wide frameworks

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:15 pm on 4th December 2017.

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Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Conservative, Beaconsfield 5:15 pm, 4th December 2017

If I may say so, I have sympathy with the point that is being put across—that the way in which the Bill is drafted seems to be excessively stark and to fail to take account of the sensitivities of the devolution settlements. However, I am afraid I cannot join the right hon. Gentleman on the rhetoric, because, ultimately, as a United Kingdom, which is what we are, there has to be flexibility in reaching a sensible way forward in the light of a change in circumstance. If I may gently say so to him, because I participated actively in the debates on the devolution legislation of 1997, it was always acknowledged then that devolution was not just a one-way street; for it to work, we required that flexibility of dialogue between Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast and London to reach solutions and not just to get anchored on principles. While I am respectful of the point he is trying to make, I suggest to him that that might be a sensible way forward.