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European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:48 pm on 9th January 2020.

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Photo of Owen Paterson Owen Paterson Conservative, North Shropshire 1:48 pm, 9th January 2020

I heartily congratulate you on your re-election, Mr Deputy Speaker, and I wish you and the new team the very best of luck in your endeavours as you work with the new House.

I congratulate Dr Whitford on her speech. She made her points very well, but she will not be surprised that I disagree with virtually every single word. Above all, I disagree with her attitude and the gloom and the misery on the Opposition Benches, when I see this as a day of great celebration.

I also congratulate Mike Amesbury on coming top of the private Members’ Bill ballot today; I hope he chooses a subject that gets agreement across the House. A long time ago, in 2005, I came 16th in the ballot. I must acknowledge the part played by my near constituency neighbour, my hon. Friend Sir William Cash. He and I worked together closely drafting a private Member’s Bill, the European Communities Act 1972 (Disapplication) Bill, in which was used the memorable “notwithstanding” phrase, in clause 1(2):

“This subsection applies to any enactment which includes the words: ‘The provisions of this enactment shall take effect notwithstanding the provisions of the European Communities Act 1972.’”