Duties in connection with Article 50 extension

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 5) Bill – in the House of Commons at 8:00 pm on 3rd April 2019.

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Photo of George Eustice George Eustice Conservative, Camborne and Redruth 8:00 pm, 3rd April 2019

My hon. Friend makes a good point, but the way in which this Bill is crafted—linking back to the European Union (Withdrawal) Act, as it does in clause 1(2)—means that it does have legal force. Therefore, it does bind the House and constrain the ability of the Government to exercise those prerogative powers. That is why the two amendments that I have tabled would accept that the Bill has passed Second Reading—and, therefore, that this House has voted to constrain those prerogative powers—but would nevertheless place constraints on the scope within which the House can exercise those powers. My hon. Friend is absolutely right that, were amendments 20 and 21 agreed to, it would still be open to the Government to use their prerogative powers to make agreements beyond that scope.