Exiting the European Union

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:00 pm on 11th March 2019.

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Photo of David Lidington David Lidington Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Minister of State (Cabinet Office) 10:00 pm, 11th March 2019

If I may, I will deal with some of the points that I know the hon. Gentleman and others—on his side and on my side of the House—have been concerned about. Obviously, the withdrawal agreement Bill will provide an opportunity for the House not just to debate, but to consider amendments and come to a view about how we should approach future negotiations and, in particular, what the role of the House of Commons should be in those negotiations.

On two of the specifics, we have guaranteed protections for workers’ rights and workplace health and safety. There will be a legislative commitment in the EU withdrawal Bill that we will not let our standards fall in these areas, alongside a guarantee that Parliament will have a vote on whether to adopt new EU rules in the future.

On environmental standards, our environment Bill will ensure that, where future laws could affect environmental protections, the Government will explain how they do not weaken them, and we will create a legal duty for the Government to monitor any strengthening of EU laws in this area and to report to Parliament on the Government’s intended course of action in those areas. There will be no reductions in our already high environmental standards. We are committed to maintaining them.