Retaining Enhanced Protection

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 1:30 pm on 17th January 2018.

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Photo of Matthew Pennycook Matthew Pennycook Shadow Minister (Exiting the European Union) 1:30 pm, 17th January 2018

I absolutely agree; and the unpicking of, or wheeling back from, some of the progress we felt had been made in the Florence speech is one of our concerns.

The Bill before us was drafted before the Florence speech, but rather than amend the Bill to reflect the evolution of Government policy outlined by the Prime Minister in that speech, the Government chose instead to fashion a legislative straitjacket for themselves in the form of enshrining “exit day” for all purposes in the Bill as 11 pm on 29 March 2019. Let us be clear: bringing forward amendments to stipulate that exit day for all purposes of the Bill had nothing to do with leaving the EU. The article 50 notification made our departure from the EU on 29 March 2019 a legal certainty, so, for the purposes of the Bill, exit day could be left in the hands of Parliament.