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European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:48 pm on 9th January 2020.

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Photo of Bill Cash Bill Cash Conservative, Stone 2:48 pm, 9th January 2020

In a minute. It may surprise the hon. Gentleman to hear that, while I am a fervent believer in the United Kingdom, which includes Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England, I do understand, for reasons not far removed from my reasons for wanting the UK not to be subjugated to the European Union, why the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire and his colleagues indulge this passion—understandable but wrong—for leaving the United Kingdom. I understand where they are coming from, so to that extent I appreciate some of the remarks he made, but I disagree fundamentally regarding the outcome they desire. It would lead to a lot of trouble for Scotland were it to leave the United Kingdom, as the referendum demonstrated.

The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill is not just about Brexit. It is primarily about the United Kingdom and our future. The reason why we adopted the position we took on Maastricht, and later on Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon, and in the debate of the past few years and on the referendum, hinges on one simple principle: the ability of the people of this country to govern themselves through their elected representatives on the basis of their free choice in general elections. We are not little Englanders or trying somehow to make our country less democratic. We fought this battle for democracy and the rights of our own people, our own voters. That is why I am delighted that we now have a significant majority and will be able to put into effect the right of the British people to govern themselves through a range of policies, unconstrained by the European Union and the European Commission.