European Union (Withdrawal) Act

Part of Business of the House (Today) – in the House of Commons at 2:03 pm on 12th March 2019.

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Photo of Theresa May Theresa May The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 2:03 pm, 12th March 2019

I will make further progress before I give way again.

We are a country where passionately held views do not stop us making compromises to achieve progress. We are a country that values both our national sovereignty and the unbreakable bonds of a shared history and an interdependent future that connect us to our friends and neighbours. A bad deal would be even worse than no deal, but best of all is a good deal, and this is a good deal.

Members acknowledged many of the benefits delivered by the deal, but none the less rejected it in January, so let me now set out what we have added to the deal on the table since the last vote. On the rights of EU citizens, we have waived the application fee, so that now there is no financial barrier for any EU nationals who wish to stay. As I have said before, they are our friends, our neighbours and our colleagues. They have added much to our country, and we want them to stay.

On the rights of workers and on environmental protections, assurances about the Government’s firm intentions were not enough, so we have committed to protecting those rights and standards in law. If the EU expands workers’ rights, we will debate those measures here in this Parliament, and this House will vote on whether we want to follow suit. This Parliament has already set world-leading standards, and after we leave the EU, we will continue to do so.