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UK’s Withdrawal from the European Union

Part of Business of the House (Today) – in the House of Commons at 2:15 pm on 14th March 2019.

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Photo of Bill Cash Bill Cash Chair, European Scrutiny Committee 2:15 pm, 14th March 2019

That is absolutely right, and I am extremely grateful to my right hon. Friend, because he was the Minister responsible for ports regulation, and he has just reconfirmed that there was nothing he could do about it. It will be even worse during the transition period and thereafter. The reality therefore is that, as set out in the proposals I have discussed, the manner in which the veto would be expressed is perhaps on a recommendation by my Committee, because it would be of such legal and political importance, but obviously it would then have to go to the Government and to the Floor of the House to decide. The exact mechanism would have to be worked out, but to suggest that it would not be a matter of immense and urgent importance to the House is to assume that we in this House are a bunch of fools. It is unthinkable that the EU could impose laws on us by qualified majority voting on any matter within the corpus and range of the European treaties without our having some means of blocking it.

Having repealed the 1972 Act, we must not find ourselves in a customs union or single market, which are themselves within the framework of the Act, not only because our manifesto is the basis on which we were elected, but because leaving the EU includes the repeal of the Act. We must therefore also protect Northern Ireland within the constitutional framework of the UK, whose Parliament—some may find this surprising in the light of what we hear from other sources—includes Northern Ireland. It is represented here as a member of the UK and helps to pass the laws repealing the Act, including section 1 of the EU withdrawal Act.

In conclusion, I can say, without prejudice to any further discussions, that we might shortly be in a position not merely to check out of the Hotel California, but to take the bus to the airport and fly out of the EU altogether.