HELLO and welcome to my weekly View from the House for Tamworth Informed.
This week the House of Commons considered amendments from the House of Lords on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.
The purpose of the Bill is to ensure that the United Kingdom exits the EU with certainty, continuity and control. It will provide a functioning statute book on the day we leave the EU, as well as ensuring that it is for our sovereign Parliament to make any future changes.
It is in no one’s interests for there to be a cliff edge when we leave the EU, and so the Bill will maximise legal certainty for individuals and businesses. The Bill also provides the basis for a smooth and orderly Brexit.
Whatever way people in Tamworth voted in the Referendum, Leave or Remain, the vast majority now want all of us in Parliament to get on with it and make our withdrawal from the EU work.
The Withdrawal Bill is not about influencing the policy choices we make as we leave the EU. It is, instead, simply about ensuring the entire United Kingdom has a functioning statute book on the day we leave. We have already made a significant number of amendments to address the fair concerns which have been raised.
We have already had over 250 hours of debate in both Houses and reviewed over 1,000 non Government amendments. The Bill that returned to us has, in some aspects, been strengthened. But in others, it has become less focused and, therefore, less clear in the goals which it is trying to achieve.
Amendments which sought to force the United Kingdom to re-join the European Economic Area (EEA) are not compatible with taking back control of our money, borders and laws. Staying in the EEA would mean accepting a huge swathe of EU rules without a say on them. That amounts to less control, not more. Pursuing it would fail to return control to the United Kingdom over our money, our borders and our laws.
Amendments which sought to encourage us to stay in a customs union are not compatible with tapping into fast growing global markets, or our manifesto. Our desire is to take the opportunity to build deeper links with old friends and new allies across the globe. Such amendments are not compatible with the manifesto on which the Government was elected last year.
Amendments to give parliament additional powers would have tied our hands in the negotiations. This would do nothing but guarantee a bad deal for our country and leave the door open for this who will attempt to overturn the referendum result.
There will be more next week when the Lords return the Bill in what is called ‘ping pong’ when a piece of legislation is passed between the two Houses before an agreement is found.
As always, have a great weekend.