Leaving the Eu: Meaningful Vote

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:05 pm on 22nd October 2018.

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Photo of Dominic Raab Dominic Raab The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 4:05 pm, 22nd October 2018

I thank the shadow Brexit Secretary for his comments, and I agree with him about the need for a serious, substantive debate and for the right tone for this debate. He is right that the meaningful vote needs to be a decisive decision. We set that out in the memorandum and that is what section 13 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 provides. As the memorandum that we have published makes clear, we expect amendments to be allowed on the motion, although again, that is an issue for you, Mr Speaker. The distinction that needs to be borne in mind is between the likely impact that any procedural amendments would have on the withdrawal agreement at the international level. The shadow Brexit Secretary is far too assiduous and astute a lawyer not to know that as a matter of basic law, they could not have an effect of altering the withdrawal agreement. Also, common sense—he will know—means that it will be highly unlikely, if not impossible, for us to refer back to the negotiating table.