Duties in connection with Article 50 extension

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 5) Bill – in the House of Commons at 9:00 pm on 8th April 2019.

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Photo of Bill Cash Bill Cash Chair, European Scrutiny Committee 9:00 pm, 8th April 2019

They most emphatically are, because, unlike what has been going on in this House, which is a perversion and a distortion of our constitutional arrangements, the very essence of our position is to defend democracy, to defend the vote that was taken by the British people, and to stand up for the repeal of the European Communities Act 1972, which was passed and is the law of the land. That is where we are right now.

Section 1 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 says that European Communities Act 1972 will be repealed on exit day. All that this Bill does is to move exit day. And by the way, exit day will move, if it ever does, in lockstep with the repeal of the 1972 Act unless someone is prepared to get up and tell me that they intend to repeal the repeal of the 1972 Act. We are still going to repeal that Act, and I think that that is completely lost on Opposition Members.

There are many other things that I would like to say about this wretched Bill, this abomination. The manner in which it has been done is a constitutional violation. It is not a technical innovation, as some people have tried to pretend; it is a constitutional revolution. Mr Speaker, I remember you referring to a precedent that was set in 1604. As I said the other day, Oliver Cromwell came to this House in the mid-1650s in circumstances in which the House of Commons had turned itself into a rabble. He was so furious with it that he said:

“You have sat too long for any good you have been doing”.

That was an accusation—[Interruption.]