European Union (Withdrawal) Act

Part of Business of the House (Today) – in the House of Commons at 4:48 pm on 12th March 2019.

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Photo of Owen Paterson Owen Paterson Conservative, North Shropshire 4:48 pm, 12th March 2019

It is utterly bizarre that Cabinet Ministers have written articles in the popular prints attacking Government policy and the manifesto on which they were elected. There is an issue of reputation and integrity here, and those of us who will regretfully be voting against the Government tonight will be representing the 17.4 million. This argument is not going away. It cannot be put back in the bottle and stuck in the fridge if this agreement goes through.

This is a bad agreement. Laws will be cooked up by 27 nations, and we will not be present. When I was Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, I worked closely with the EU on common agricultural policy reform. We worked closely with allies, whether Germany, Hungary, Italy or whatever, but this time laws will be imposed on us, and if we do not impose those laws to the satisfaction of the European Commission, we can get taken to the ECJ and fined. If the deal goes through and if I come to this House in a year’s time to discuss an issue of great concern to my constituency, such as agriculture or food, and to complain about a law, the Minister will have every right to say, “The right hon. Gentleman voted for that. What is he complaining about?”