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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

With great prescience, my hon. Friend makes exactly the point I was about to make. Here we are, 15 years later, and, moved by the Government, the “notwithstanding” clause is going into law, subject to the other place being sensible. I pay tribute to him. He has been mocked, traduced and insulted, but he has stood for the simple democratic principle that members of the public, every few years, are given the opportunity to vote for individual human beings to come to this place and make laws. If those laws are satisfactory, they will get re-elected; if not, they will get booted out. They will be sent here to raise money by extracting it compulsorily, by law, from people’s bank accounts—that is what taxation is—and if that money is well spent, they will be re-elected; if it is not, they will be kicked out. It is an incredibly simple, basic idea. I find it staggering that we are still today listening to miseries from the Opposition Benches cavilling about this simple principle.