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Compliance with the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:41 am on 26th September 2019.

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Photo of Madeleine Moon Madeleine Moon Chair, Defence Sub-Committee 9:41 am, 26th September 2019

On Tuesday, I was in Addis Ababa with a delegation from across the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in a meeting with the United Nations, the European Union and the African Union. I sat with my colleagues and saw the shock on their faces as they watched a pronouncement that a British Government were deemed to have acted unlawfully.

In an alliance, trust is essential. It used to be that when people talked to the British, we could say, “My word is my bond.” People no longer have that trust. I understand the Minister’s expertise, particularly in relation to Africa, but is he aware of the damage done internationally to our reputation when we hear of a Government trying to wriggle their way out of a binding legislative decision by this House of Commons?

There is an international danger to our reputation. I saw as my NATO colleagues watched on their iPads—they all speak English—the responses from across the British press. They watch this House daily. They no longer have the level of respect and regard for this House that used to be felt. May I urge the Government to rebuild that respect, because the dangers and the risks to this country are huge?