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Division Details - Commons Main Chamber

18:58, 01 February 2017, Division 134: European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill

View the debate for this division


[2nd day]

Pre Vote

We have made clear commitments to protect workers’ rights, and will ensure that they keep pace with the changing labour market. Let me be as clear as it is possible to be: all the workers’ rights that are enjoyed under EU legislation will be preserved by the great repeal Bill and brought across into UK law. Let me also say that we have no plans to withdraw from the ECHR.

Let me deal with the question of Euratom. Euratom and the EU share a common institutional framework, including the European Court of Justice, a role for the Commission and decision making in the Council, making them uniquely legally joined. Triggering article 50 therefore also entails giving notice to leave Euratom. The nuclear industry is of key strategic importance to the UK, and we have been clear that this does not affect our intention to maintain close and effective arrangements relating to civil nuclear co-operation, safeguards and safety with Europe and the rest of the world.

Let me move on to the role of Parliament. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister set out our plan for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal in her speech at Lancaster House, and she has confirmed that Parliament will have its say on the final deal we achieve with the European Union by putting that deal to a vote of both Houses. There has already been extensive scrutiny in both Houses, and we will publish our White Paper tomorrow, before Committee. The White Paper, however, is entirely separate from this Bill, which simply gives the Government the power to trigger the process of exit from the EU, in accordance with the instructions that we have received from the people of this country.

There has also been much debate over the past two days about the many opportunities that leaving the UK—[Interruption]—that leaving EU affords the UK. As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has said, we will be an outward-facing, bold and global country, seeking ambitious trade deals, forging new friendships and consolidating existing partnerships, and we will remain a tolerant and open country. The triggering of article 50 will start the process of our withdrawal from the European Union, and during that process, the House will have plenty of opportunities to debate and play a crucial role in scrutinising the great repeal Bill and related Bills to come. My right hon. Friend has set out a detailed plan for building a new partnership between an independent United Kingdom and the European Union in the years to come.

Let me say how much I agree with the hon. Member for Darlington (Jenny Chapman): the people have made their decision, and now we must strive for an outcome that, as she said, works not just for the 52% or the 48%, but for the 100%. All of us in this House must work together in the national interest, but let me repeat that tonight we are not voting on the outcome, nor on the wider issues, but simply to start the process. It is absolutely essential that Parliament moves quickly, under the timetable that this House voted for in December, to trigger article 50 by the end of March.

In short, this is a straightforward Bill that delivers on the promise made to the people of the United Kingdom to honour the outcome of the referendum. We must trust the people, and I commend this Bill to the House.

Question put, That the amendment be made.

Ayes - 100


Noes - 336