Article 50 - Committee Stage speech

On Tuesday 7th February I spoke about parliamentary sovereignty during the Committee Stage of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill.

You can watch my speech here, or read my speech and the debate in Hansard in full here.

Parliament must have a meaningful vote on the final deal - and to be meaningful the vote must include the option to remain in the EU and the option to put in place a transitional deal after the 2 year negotiation process has concluded to enable talks to continue. We must avoid falling "off the cliff edge" - leaving the EU without a deal and falling back on WTO trading rules - at all costs.

A take it or leave it vote choosing between a bad deal and no deal is not a meaningful vote. A choice between whatever the Government negotiates or falling back on WTO rules is just the Government holding a gun to Parliament's head.

For years Leave MP's have wanted to repatriate sovereignty. Now they want to give the European Parliament, the European Commission, the European Council and the national Parliaments of all 27 other EU nations the power to vote on our future relationship with the EU, but not our own sovereign Parliament. That is the Government's position - everybody else will get a vote on our exit deal and future relationship with the EU, apart from our own Parliament. That is not taking back control.

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