Duties in connection with the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:45 pm on 4th September 2019.

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Photo of Stephen Barclay Stephen Barclay The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 6:45 pm, 4th September 2019

The principle of this Bill in seeking an extension is wrong. The Government opposed it on Second Reading and we will oppose it on Third Reading. Indeed, it is so flawed that we have not bothered to table amendments to it; we oppose it in all forms.

This Bill cannot be improved because it goes against the democratic wish of the British people, the vote of 17.4 million of our citizens and the strong desire of many up and down this land who want certainty and clarity and who want Brexit done so that we can get on to the wider domestic agenda, as set out by the Chancellor in the spending review earlier today: 20,000 more police officers, with recruitment starting in Yorkshire tomorrow; a record increase of £6,000 on starting salaries for teachers; levelling up opportunity for those who warrant it; and supporting the economy through the tough decisions we took in 2010, which allows the record investment in our NHS, with 20 new hospital upgrades.

Stephen Kinnock spoke with sincerity and I do not question the spirit in which he brings new clause 1 to the Committee this evening, but he also spoke of compromise. As my hon. Friend Andrew Percy correctly identified, the reality is that the hon. Member for Aberavon voted against the deal all three times—all three times.