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

Main power in connection with other separation issues

Part of European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill – in the House of Commons at 2:00 pm on 8th January 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Robin Walker Robin Walker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland 2:00 pm, 8th January 2020

My right hon. Friend speaks with considerable experience and passion on these issues. Of course I agree with him, but what we want is a free trade agreement for the whole of the UK that addresses these issues and allows us the most frictionless access to our neighbours and good trade for all of us. For Northern Ireland, that would be an excellent result. We have to focus on the fact that this Bill is about the withdrawal agreement, and that includes the protocol. We need to take through the protocol to ratify the withdrawal agreement and move forward into that negotiation.

The Government are committed to maintaining the highest levels of transparency and scrutiny in relation to this Bill and to the implementation of the withdrawal agreement. We have been clear on that, but the exact form of accountability needs to be appropriately framed, so the Government cannot accept new clauses 53, 54 or 65, which would place an undue burden on the Government but not provide the transparency and scrutiny that they purport to achieve. It is no surprise that the Opposition, through amendment 1, seek to place hurdles in the way of our exit, but the result of the general election across the United Kingdom shows that they lack the mandate to do so and that we have a clear mandate to proceed. We should do so without the hurdles that the previous Parliament consistently threw in the way of progress.