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Parliamentary sovereignty

Part of European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill – in the House of Commons at 3:45 pm on 8th January 2020.

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Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 3:45 pm, 8th January 2020

I disagree with virtually all the hon. Gentleman’s points. We will take back control, hold that sovereignty, take our seat as an independent nation state on WTO rules, and engage in international forums to look globally, rather than looking within Europe in European forums.

Clause 39 relates to interpretation. This type of clause is standard practice in primary legislation and contains key definitions. Subsection (1) lists items used in the Bill with accompanying definitions, such as the relevant agreements with the EU, the EEA, EFTA and Switzerland. Given the possibility of a change in EU summer-time arrangements, the clause provides for consequential changes in the exact time of the implementation period on 31 December in the United Kingdom. Let me be very clear: this power cannot be used to change the time and date of the implementation period for any other purpose. The clause is fundamental to ensuring the operation of the Bill.

Clause 40 and schedule 4 make further provision for regulations to make powers under the Bill, which is of interest and importance to Members of Parliament. Schedule 4 provides for the parliamentary scrutiny procedure for secondary legislation under the powers in the Bill. We recognise that our exit from the EU is momentous and Parliament will want to scrutinise any changes that we make to the statute book as part of that process.