Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:51 pm on 22nd October 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of David Lidington David Lidington Conservative, Aylesbury 3:51 pm, 22nd October 2019

I shall come on to that point, but I want to say a few sentences about the consent mechanism. I understand the disquiet that has been expressed by those on the Unionist Benches about the design of the mechanism. It is nevertheless worth noting that that mechanism gives to Stormont a power that is unique in Europe. No other regional Parliament or Assembly anywhere else in Europe has the power, unilaterally, to decide to end the application of a set of European Union rules and regulations to its territory.

Having said that, I do want to recognise the fact that elements of the new package as regards Northern Ireland have aroused genuine disquiet and anger in Unionist communities across Northern Ireland. There is a perception that they have been treated unequally and that their place in the United Kingdom has been made less secure. I ask my right hon. Friends on the Government Front Bench urgently to seek ways to address those concerns and to assert the Government’s continued commitment to the Union.