Repeal of the European Communities Act 1972

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 1:15 pm on 12th June 2018.

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Photo of David Davis David Davis The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 1:15 pm, 12th June 2018

If the hon. Lady will forgive me, I will make a little progress, because I am quite sure that my next section will provoke quite a lot more interventions than the last one.

Let me turn to Lords amendment 19 and parliamentary approval of the outcome of the negotiations. This is the Hailsham amendment, which Lord Bilimoria described in the other House as the “no Brexit” amendment. What it amounts to is an unconstitutional shift that risks undermining our negotiations with the European Union. It enables Parliament to dictate to the Government their course of action in international negotiations. [Interruption.] Labour Members ask what is wrong with that. Well, I will read them a quote from Professor Vernon Bogdanor who is not exactly a well-known leaver, but he is a constitutional expert. He described this at the weekend as “a constitutional absurdity” that

“would weaken the position of Britain’s negotiators.”

I agree with him that this is not practical, not desirable, and not appropriate.