Results 1–20 of 869 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Robin Walker

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Welsh Ministers — Power to make consequential and transitional provision (6 Dec 2017)

Robin Walker: I give the hon. Lady that commitment. The Good Friday agreement is an absolute commitment that we stand by and it will be preserved. I will work with the hon. Lady, as I have been invited to do, to ensure that through the whole of the process we deliver on the principles.

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Welsh Ministers — Power to make consequential and transitional provision (6 Dec 2017)

Robin Walker: As I said to the hon. Lady in the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, we are in the process of negotiating the withdrawal agreement and therefore we cannot pre-empt the detail of the Bill. Clearly, we want to enshrine the principles in the withdrawal agreement and that Bill will legislate for that. There is a logic to what she says and I am happy to follow up and discuss it further.

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Welsh Ministers — Power to make consequential and transitional provision (6 Dec 2017)

Robin Walker: As we discussed in great detail on day 4, direct Government-to-Government contact is happening on those issues. We have the JMC process—it will meet next week—and I hope that we can all agree ways to move forward that allow this to be delivered for each part of the UK. The consultation process will ensure that we take the approach that works best for the UK as a whole and takes...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Welsh Ministers — Power to make consequential and transitional provision (6 Dec 2017)

Robin Walker: I do not want to pre-empt the agreement that I believe can and will be reached in the not-too-distant future through the JMC process. That is not what we are legislating for. We are legislating for providing continuity and certainty across the UK. I have just described how we can ensure that that delivers for every part of the UK. That is important. Amendments 168 and 175 are related to the...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Welsh Ministers — Power to make consequential and transitional provision (6 Dec 2017)

Robin Walker: I will give way to the hon. Lady briefly, on that point.

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Welsh Ministers — Power to make consequential and transitional provision (6 Dec 2017)

Robin Walker: The Government have made their position absolutely clear, but let me again reiterate our firm commitment to the principles of the Belfast agreement, and to ensuring that we respect and meet those principles throughout this process. I have offered to meet the hon. Member for North Down to continue this conversation and ensure that we do everything we can to meet those commitments throughout...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Welsh Ministers — Power to make consequential and transitional provision (6 Dec 2017)

Robin Walker: I am grateful to my right hon. and learned Friend for that point. I will now move on to other areas of the Bill, because I recognise that there is a huge interest in the 60 or so amendments on which we need to touch.

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Welsh Ministers — Power to make consequential and transitional provision (6 Dec 2017)

Robin Walker: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his intervention, and for his comment earlier. I agree that we should continue to work on this issue in a bipartisan way, and not just in a bipartisan way but with all parties in Northern Ireland, and with the hon. Member for North Down, in taking this issue forward and providing all assurances that the legal protections in international law and the...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Welsh Ministers — Power to make consequential and transitional provision (6 Dec 2017)

Robin Walker: I will give way to the right hon. Gentleman, but this is the last one on this issue.

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Welsh Ministers — Power to make consequential and transitional provision (6 Dec 2017)

Robin Walker: The Good Friday/Belfast agreement is and will continue to be secure. I want to move on, and will turn to amendment 89, tabled by the hon. Member for Arfon (Hywel Williams), along with amendments 313 to 316, tabled by the hon. Member for Aberavon (Stephen Kinnock). These amendments would prevent UK Ministers from being able to use powers in the Bill in areas of otherwise devolved competence....

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Welsh Ministers — Power to make consequential and transitional provision (6 Dec 2017)

Robin Walker: I apologise to the hon. Lady. I think I mentioned that amendment in the run-up to addressing the detail of new clause 70 in the name of the hon. Member for North Down, but let me say that Ministers will not and cannot legislate incompatibly with the Good Friday agreement. We are bound by that agreement, and I have been very clear that this Government remain absolutely committed to the Good...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Welsh Ministers — Power to make consequential and transitional provision (6 Dec 2017)

Robin Walker: I cannot say at this stage, but let me repeat that in both this debate and the debate on clause 11, we have been clear that we are listening to the Committee and engaging with it, and we will give the matters raised careful consideration. I think the comments made by Secretary of State for Scotland reflect that approach. It is important that we move forward together with all the devolved...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Welsh Ministers — Power to make consequential and transitional provision (6 Dec 2017)

Robin Walker: I am happy to take up my right hon. Friend’s suggestion, and to work with the hon. Member for North Down and Members in all parts of the House. The hon. Lady has expressed a strong position and I will work with her to ensure that, as we go through this process, we do everything in our power to continue to protect the Good Friday agreement. My right hon. Friend makes a constructive...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Welsh Ministers — Power to make consequential and transitional provision (6 Dec 2017)

Robin Walker: I absolutely respect the effort of, and have referred a number of times to the evidence collected by, Committees; some of these amendments are tabled by Committees, and we respect that. We want to engage with them, which is why I am trying to give a comprehensive response on all these matters. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will be pleased with some of the things I have to say. We absolutely...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Welsh Ministers — Power to make consequential and transitional provision (6 Dec 2017)

Robin Walker: Let me reiterate to the right hon. Gentleman that we are absolutely committed to the Belfast/Good Friday agreement. I will now turn to some of the technical detail on new clause 70, because it is important to reflect that, as I said at the beginning, we support the principles behind it.

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Welsh Ministers — Power to make consequential and transitional provision (6 Dec 2017)

Robin Walker: If my right hon. Friend will give me a moment, she may be interested in what I have to say next. I do appreciate the enormous effort that the hon. Member for North Down has put into drafting new clause 70, but we could not currently accept it. There are some concerns around it. It goes further than requiring Ministers and devolved Departments to have regard to the key principles. Subsection...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Welsh Ministers — Power to make consequential and transitional provision (6 Dec 2017)

Robin Walker: Our commitment to the Belfast agreement is absolutely clear. We are committed to it. We are not changing it as a result of this Bill. The Bill would not allow us to do that. We are protecting the Northern Ireland Act in this Bill. We will work with the hon. Lady and with hon. Gentlemen and hon. Ladies in all parts of the House to secure the legacy of the Belfast agreement.

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Welsh Ministers — Power to make consequential and transitional provision (6 Dec 2017)

Robin Walker: I have great respect for my right hon. and learned Friend. On the point that he makes, the Government have absolutely accepted their commitments to the Belfast agreement. It is already a matter of international law. We are committed to that agreement. It is annexed to the British-Irish treaty, and we will continue to respect it in the way in which we approach this whole issue. We will work...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Welsh Ministers — Power to make consequential and transitional provision (6 Dec 2017)

Robin Walker: Let me make it clear to the hon. Gentleman that no one who supports the Bill will vote against any principles in the Belfast agreement. It is absolutely clear that the Belfast agreement is protected and is something that we intend absolutely to continue to deliver on. We cannot accept an amendment that, in this case, would create doubt about the protection of the Northern Ireland Act. We need...


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