Eu: Future Relationship White Paper

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:11 am on 12th July 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Bill Cash Bill Cash Chair, European Scrutiny Committee 1:11 am, 12th July 2018

I am deeply worried about the proposals I have read already in the White Paper and in the three-page document that we received the other day, for this reason. On the issue of the sovereignty of Parliament, we passed the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, which repeals the European Communities Act 1972, but under the proposals as I read them—the so-called parliamentary lock, and compliance with a common rulebook—for dealing with regulatory rule taking from the EU and the discussions that will place around it, page 91 of the document tells us that rule changes will be scrutinised

“in accordance with normal legislative procedure”,

and that “Parliament could decide” not to enact them. I understand what that is getting at, but if I may say so, I assure the House, as Chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee and having been on that Committee for 33 years, that never in my experience—despite what was promised in the White Paper in 1971, before the 1972 Act—has there ever been an occasion when the House has overturned a European regulation, which puts me on serious caution. I therefore have to ask: how would this system work in practice, would it be Whip-ridden, and would the so-called parliamentary lock be burglar-proof?