Repeal of the European Communities Act 1972

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 3:15 pm on 12th June 2018.

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Photo of Chris Leslie Chris Leslie Labour/Co-operative, Nottingham East 3:15 pm, 12th June 2018

I want to conclude. The other problem with the deal is the future relationship, because when that motion comes, my constituents expect that it will be about not just the divorce proceedings, the money and the process of leaving, but what our future relationship will be. It must be. If there is simply a side of A4—a flimsy statement of words—with the famous “fudge” that we are so used to hearing about stapled as an annex to the back of it, that will be unacceptable. We have a duty to press Ministers to do a proper deal that safeguards our constituents’ interests. As MPs, we must ensure that we exercise pressure on Government to do things properly.

The right hon. and learned Member for Beaconsfield clearly now has the majority of the House with him, because we would not see the Government Chief Whip scuttling around so rapidly—I have never seen him move so quickly—trying to find a form of words. I hope that the right hon. and learned Gentleman will take this opportunity to get his amendment in lieu in the Bill now and send it to the House of Lords. The Lords can always amend, change it or look at it again, and we can come back to this next week and do things properly. It is not our fault that only 12 hours were allocated to this whole ridiculous process; we could have had far longer. The Government have made their bed, and they must now lie in in it. They set up this process, and they cannot realistically complain, “Ooh, I didn’t have the chance to read this overnight.” If they want a particular change, they need to accept the will of the House. They can always table amendments in the House of Lords. That seems the best way forward.