Julian’s Statement on Internal Market Bill
September 15, 2020
Last night I voted with the government at the first parliamentary stage of this Bill. I support the general thrust of the proposals and want to see them debated and improved, but would like to see clear amendments to ensure greater parliamentary control of powers to breach the EU Withdrawal Agreement in an emergency.
For me, the crucial issue is the ability of MPs to stand up for their constituents on such a vital issue, and such a drastic step should only be taken with the clear consent of Parliament, and a solid grounding in British law.
I have already voted against the government this year to try and secure stronger guarantees of parliamentary scrutiny of new trade agreements, and on the same basis I will not hesitate to withhold support from the government on this Bill if the final say on overriding parts of the Withdrawal Agreement is not left to MPs.
Possible amendments will now be debated and voted upon throughout this week until next Monday. I have added my name to my Conservative colleague Sir Bob Neill’s amendment that would attach a ‘parliamentary lock’ to the bill. In effect this would require Parliament’s approval before the use of new powers that could override parts of the Withdrawal Agreement. If successful, this could mean Parliament can decide to conclude negotiations with the EU before this emergency step is taken. Ultimately, I believe this offers reassurances of parliamentary scrutiny without compromising negotiations.
Constituents who have contacted me will get a full personal response once the passage of the bill has concluded.