Repeal of the main retained EU law relating to free movement etc

Part of Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:45 am on 26th February 2019.

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Photo of Alison McGovern Alison McGovern Chair, Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art, Chair, Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art 9:45 am, 26th February 2019

I agree with my hon. Friend, who makes a good point. I never thought I would be in Committee lecturing the Conservative party on the needs of British business, but we are where we are. My hon. Friend the Member for Stretford and Urmston made the point very well that we are creating not simplicity but an extraordinarily high level of uncertainty, and uncertainty is costly to the British economy. I am sure we will discuss the costs of the Brexit process during the Bill, but the Government could be handling the Bill better. They could have come up with the immigration White Paper long before they did, and we could have spent time in the past two and a bit years since the referendum discussing that very thing, but they have held off and postponed—and here we are now. People have no real idea what situation EU nationals will be in after the end of March. That is utterly intolerable.