Results 1–20 of 2886 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Oliver Letwin

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Implementing the withdrawal agreement (13 Dec 2017)

Oliver Letwin: Does my hon. Friend agree that there is a quite natural solution, which is to put the assurance given at the Dispatch Box into the clause when the Bill comes back on Report?

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Implementing the withdrawal agreement (13 Dec 2017)

Oliver Letwin: I think that my hon. Friend is suggesting a route to solving the problem raised by my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Beaconsfield (Mr Grieve). Could not the requirement that the resolution be sanctioned by the House before the implementation of those orders be put into a revised version of clause 9 on Report?

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Implementing the withdrawal agreement (13 Dec 2017)

Oliver Letwin: Speaking personally, I do not think there would be anything very brutal about the Government deciding on Report that it would be sensible to not have clause 9 in the Bill, given that there will now be a separate piece of legislation to achieve the same effect.

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Implementing the withdrawal agreement (13 Dec 2017)

Oliver Letwin: It was with some regret that I gave way to the hon. Gentleman. I have never known him to take a position that was not partisan and slightly ludicrous, and that was a classic example. Here am I irenically trying to achieve a result that would be in the interests of the nation—good legislation that has the effect my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Beaconsfield agrees he is...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Implementing the withdrawal agreement (13 Dec 2017)

Oliver Letwin: I will give way two last times and then I really must sit down, because I have said everything I wanted to say and I am now just responding.

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Implementing the withdrawal agreement (13 Dec 2017)

Oliver Letwin: I understand what my hon. Friend is saying, but I do not agree with her. There is a well established process for Bills in this House that includes a Report stage. If one wishes to table an amendment in the House of Commons that the Government will not accept, it is perfectly possible to do so on Report. There is no reason to force the issue in Committee. As a matter of fact, the Bill will...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Implementing the withdrawal agreement (13 Dec 2017)

Oliver Letwin: It is very odd—it is as if the hon. Gentleman has not been here, but I have seen his body here all the time. The fact of the matter is that the House has had a series of votes, it is going to have a further series of votes, and then it is going to have a whole pile of votes on, inter alia, the new implementation and withdrawal Bill. In fact, my right hon. and learned Friend the Member...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Implementing the withdrawal agreement (13 Dec 2017)

Oliver Letwin: I agree with my hon. Friend. There may well be time; I am not in any way denying that. The point I was trying to make is that Labour Members have alleged that it is proper for Parliament to be able to have what they have described as a meaningful vote. They have made it perfectly clear that what they mean by a meaningful vote includes the ability to tell the Government that they cannot...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Implementing the withdrawal agreement (13 Dec 2017)

Oliver Letwin: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that point, which I will come back to in a moment. In turning to amendment 7, let me start by saying something on a personal level. I have been in the House for exactly the same length of time as my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Beaconsfield—I think we entered it on the same day, as it happens—and I have served with him in a...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Implementing the withdrawal agreement (13 Dec 2017)

Oliver Letwin: I think that is a very possible eventuality, which takes us back to our earlier discussion. I certainly agree that if, upon a resolution, the House refused to accept the withdrawal agreement suggested by the Government and agreed by the EU, it is very likely that the Government would go back and try to renegotiate it, and it is very possible that they would succeed in doing so. I do not deny...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Implementing the withdrawal agreement (13 Dec 2017)

Oliver Letwin: I am delighted by my right hon. and learned Friend’s intervention, because I agree that he has succeeded in doing that. He has not created the so-called meaningful vote that the right hon. Member for Leeds Central and the Opposition want. He has instead pointed out an issue with the use of the order-making power in this Bill. The question is: is it a good amendment in those terms? We...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Implementing the withdrawal agreement (13 Dec 2017)

Oliver Letwin: Now I am beginning rather to agree with my right hon. and learned Friend. Therefore, my suggestion is that if that is the purpose of his amendment, it would be far better that it come back as a Government amendment on Report that achieves that effect in a different way and directly, without the gross inelegance of referring to another piece of legislation. It should mainly limit the power in...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Implementing the withdrawal agreement (13 Dec 2017)

Oliver Letwin: I am surprised by that, because my right hon. and learned Friend has a long and distinguished record of voting for good law. I do not think that this is good law, for the reasons I have identified. I think it really would be better if we had a correct amendment at a later stage of proceedings.

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Implementing the withdrawal agreement (13 Dec 2017)

Oliver Letwin: I agree with my right hon. and learned Friend that we ought to avoid the possibility of parallel proceedings, but my suggestion would certainly achieve that. If the Government were to come forward at a later stage with an amendment that made it clear that clause 9 could be used only for urgent things of a specified kind, that would prevent the possibility of parallel proceedings.

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Implementing the withdrawal agreement (13 Dec 2017)

Oliver Letwin: But if my right hon. Friend agrees with me that our purpose in this case is not to create a so-called meaningful vote but simply to ensure that clause 9 is not used to create parallel proceedings or to give carte blanche, it would clearly make sense for the Government to make that undertaking rather than to accept an amendment that has an unnecessary effect.

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Implementing the withdrawal agreement (13 Dec 2017)

Oliver Letwin: Now that there is to be an implementation and withdrawal agreement Bill I do not personally yet understand the need for clause 9. However, the right way to deal with that is for the Government either to say that they will consider getting rid of clause 9 or to make the kind of restricted amendments on Report that I was describing. In any of those ways, the problem would be resolved without...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Implementing the withdrawal agreement (13 Dec 2017)

Oliver Letwin: Until now, with the exception of some interventions, I believe that all contributions have been, in one way or another, in support of amendment 7 and its correlative amendments. I hope, Sir David, that you will allow me a little leeway with timing to address my points, because I do believe that the debate has so far been one-sided. I want to start by talking about the speech made by the...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Implementing the withdrawal agreement (13 Dec 2017)

Oliver Letwin: Yes, that is what the right hon. Gentleman said. The logic of what he was saying carries us remorselessly there, and I will come on to explain why.

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Implementing the withdrawal agreement (13 Dec 2017)

Oliver Letwin: The right hon. Gentleman cannot continue to shake his head with conviction. His logic carries him there because he defines a meaningful vote as one that gives the House the capacity to reject either a deal it does not like, or the possibility of exiting with no deal. This is not a matter of opinion or value; it is a matter of logical fact. The only alternative to accepting a deal that we do...


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