Results 1–20 of 8481 for speaker:Chris Leslie

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Regulations to deal with deficiencies arising from withdrawal - Independent Report (12 Dec 2017)

Chris Leslie: This has been a very important debate. Some may feel that this is a dry issue of constitutional process and ask how it relates to the question of Britain’s role in the rest of the world. However, it is fundamentally important to recognise Ministers’ land grab in attempting to take very sweeping powers, by order—not simply to transpose technical and necessary EU laws into UK...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Regulations to deal with deficiencies arising from withdrawal - Independent Report (12 Dec 2017)

Chris Leslie: The Minister mentioned clause 7(5) in relation to the regulatory powers to replace, modify or abolish public service functions. He will know that one of my amendments would delete the Government’s ability to abolish functions by those orders. I wonder whether he could give us examples of public service functions or regulatory activities currently undertaken that the Government may wish...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Regulations to deal with deficiencies arising from withdrawal - Independent Report (12 Dec 2017)

Chris Leslie: Yes; I think many hon. Members are under the illusion that free-trade agreements are an okay substitute for the single market arrangements that we now have. Our economy is 80% service sector. We take for granted the frictionless movement of goods, parts and components, and amendment 124 would—

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Regulations to deal with deficiencies arising from withdrawal - Independent Report (12 Dec 2017)

Chris Leslie: I absolutely do, Madam Deputy Speaker. Amendment 124 talks about protecting the single market provisions, and that is why, in today’s debate, as well as getting into constitutional areas such as protecting Parliament’s rights, we also have a duty to talk about the single market. The right hon. Member for Carshalton and Wallington’s amendment addresses this point. This is...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Regulations to deal with deficiencies arising from withdrawal - Independent Report (12 Dec 2017)

Chris Leslie: Who could possibly forget that support for the single market was once a key aspect of Margaret Thatcher’s policy-making, as well as the policy of subsequent Governments?

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Regulations to deal with deficiencies arising from withdrawal - Independent Report (12 Dec 2017)

Chris Leslie: We are putting a lot of effort into trying to get free trade deals with New Zealand, Australia and other countries, and much as I would love free trade deals with all of them, the fact is that our biggest markets are our nearest neighbours. Having that single market and that customs union is incredibly important, which is why amendment 124 should not be dismissed and I believe Members should...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Regulations to deal with deficiencies arising from withdrawal - Independent Report (12 Dec 2017)

Chris Leslie: The right hon. and learned Gentleman and any other Member who has had the privilege of serving as a Minister will know exactly what civil servants will advise, which is, “Well, you don’t know the exact circumstances, so seek as wide a power as you can possibly get away with through Parliament, if it will turn a blind eye to it. We can deal with the consequences thereafter.”...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Regulations to deal with deficiencies arising from withdrawal - Independent Report (12 Dec 2017)

Chris Leslie: The Bill’s provisions are so wide-ranging that the protections that our constituents have enjoyed to this day as a result of European regulations and rights could be at risk—not from Parliament, but from a ministerial sweep of the pen, through the making of an order: a negative statutory instrument.

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Regulations to deal with deficiencies arising from withdrawal - Independent Report (12 Dec 2017)

Chris Leslie: The offer from the Government has been a binary yes or no motion at some point when we see the withdrawal agreement, and then—potentially after the fact, post-signature by Ministers—a Bill later on down the line. That is obviously not good enough, but we will come to many of those issues in tomorrow’s debates. For now, there are further deficiencies in the way clause 7 has...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Regulations to deal with deficiencies arising from withdrawal - Independent Report (12 Dec 2017)

Chris Leslie: My hon. Friend has done important work as Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee on some of these questions. These are not small matters; they are important functions that over the years we have developed and grown to expect. Some of them are provided by EU agencies, but they should not be able to be abolished simply by order—by the sweep of a ministerial pen—without reference...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Regulations to deal with deficiencies arising from withdrawal - Independent Report (12 Dec 2017)

Chris Leslie: Indeed, and there are good arguments for having independent provision of many of these assessments. We might feel that many regulatory activities currently undertaken by EU agencies need to be undertaken by our regulators here in the UK, rather than being brought into a Government departmental function, to give them that further arm’s-length independent status. I want to talk about some...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Regulations to deal with deficiencies arising from withdrawal - Independent Report (12 Dec 2017)

Chris Leslie: I am not sure whether such a provision exists. Perhaps members of the Procedure Committee will have a view on that. I certainly think that that would be unfortunate.

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Regulations to deal with deficiencies arising from withdrawal - Independent Report (12 Dec 2017)

Chris Leslie: That is true, but it deserves to be debated today as well. If we are creating a committee, it is perfectly legitimate to argue that we need to know whether it will have teeth and exercise bite, or whether it will be reluctant to do so. The question that my hon. Friend the Member for Rhondda (Chris Bryant) asked about its composition is perfectly reasonable.

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Regulations to deal with deficiencies arising from withdrawal - Independent Report (12 Dec 2017)

Chris Leslie: My hon. Friend’s point is well made. Again, it goes to show that if we are to assert ourselves as the House of Commons and create a committee to deal with this flood of negative statutory instruments, that needs to be done in a way that has teeth. We will debate the Bill and kick it around and it will go to the House of Lords, but we need to ensure that it has teeth when it comes back.

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Regulations to deal with deficiencies arising from withdrawal - Independent Report (12 Dec 2017)

Chris Leslie: I am conscious that a lot of Members want to speak, and I want to get to the end of my remarks. There are other issues relating to the standard of scrutiny, and perhaps the Procedure Committee will want to think about them as well. Currently, when regulatory policy issues are decided in Europe by EU directive or regulation, the European Parliament—to which our constituents have been...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Regulations to deal with deficiencies arising from withdrawal - Independent Report (12 Dec 2017)

Chris Leslie: I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Regulations to deal with deficiencies arising from withdrawal - Independent Report (12 Dec 2017)

Chris Leslie: I thought for a minute, Mrs Laing, that you were going to read out all the amendments grouped today, which might have taken up some considerable time. Today’s debate is about taking back control—about Parliament and the powers of the House of Commons to hold the Executive to account and to overrule it if we wish to do so. New clause 18 essentially says that it is time for the...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Regulations to deal with deficiencies arising from withdrawal - Independent Report (12 Dec 2017)

Chris Leslie: Exactly. People voting in the referendum might have been moved by that slogan “take back control”, but I do not honestly think many voters thought that that meant taking back control from a European Executive and handing it to Ministers of the Crown, outwith the powers and scope of Parliament to do much about it, yet that is effectively the proposal in clause 7. I want to...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Regulations to deal with deficiencies arising from withdrawal - Independent Report (12 Dec 2017)

Chris Leslie: I suspect that the European Commission and the Republic of Ireland Government saw the phrase “full alignment” and thought that full alignment meant full alignment. It turns out from the Prime Minister’s statement yesterday that full alignment does not quite mean full alignment. She said it only meant aligning the areas in the Good Friday agreement protocol, but of course...


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