There have been 10 exchanges between Edward Miliband and Cabinet Office
|Mon 14th September 2020||United Kingdom Internal Market Bill||17 interactions (3,750 words)|
|Tue 11th February 2020||Transport Infrastructure||3 interactions (81 words)|
|Mon 25th March 2019||European Council||3 interactions (71 words)|
|Wed 20th March 2019||Oral Answers to Questions||3 interactions (101 words)|
|Tue 12th February 2019||Leaving the EU||3 interactions (75 words)|
|Mon 21st January 2019||Leaving the EU||3 interactions (30 words)|
|Mon 14th January 2019||Leaving the EU||3 interactions (144 words)|
|Mon 11th December 2017||Brexit Negotiations||3 interactions (56 words)|
|Mon 9th October 2017||UK Plans for Leaving the EU||3 interactions (71 words)|
|Wed 21st June 2017||Debate on the Address||3 interactions (6 words)|
I thank my hon. Friend for the spirit in which he asked his question and made that important point. He is absolutely right to focus on where we are now in our talks on the free trade agreement. It is by passing the Bill tonight and in subsequent days that we will make the possibility of that great free trade agreement more real and get it done sooner.
Therefore, with this Bill we will expedite a free trade agreement not only with our European friends and partners, but with friends and partners around the world; we will support jobs and growth throughout the whole United Kingdom; we will back our negotiators in Brussels; and, above all, we will protect the territorial integrity of the UK and the peace process in Northern Ireland. I urge the House to support the Bill and, as my hon. Friend the Member for Winchester (Steve Brine) rightly said, to get back to the business of securing a free trade agreement with our closest neighbours that we would all wish to see. I commend the Bill to the House.
The right hon. Gentleman is getting to the nub of the matter. We have Joint Ministerial Committees, and huge progress had been made in the last few months on agreeing frameworks that would allow us to do exactly what the right hon. Gentleman asked for. Is not the right way to proceed through frameworks in agreement with the devolved Administrations, not the race to the bottom that we get with the Bill?
Does the right hon. Gentleman think that the EU has been negotiating in good faith?
My right hon. Friend is making an extremely good speech. Would he perhaps tell the House who on earth might have signed this terrible deal with so many ambiguities less than nine months ago?
Order. The right hon. Gentleman cannot give way unless he is asked to.
Before the shadow spokesman lectures the Prime Minister about reading documentation or starts lecturing us about the Good Friday agreement, does he not recognise, first of all, that the Good Friday agreement talks about the principle of consent to change the constitutional position of Northern Ireland, which is what this protocol does? The Good Friday agreement has within it a mechanism to safeguard the minorities in Northern Ireland through a cross-community vote, which again the protocol removed. So before he starts talking about the threats to the Good Friday agreement, does he not recognise that the protocol was a threat to it in the first place?
I have listened carefully to the right hon. Member’s formulation and I understand much of what he says. However, an Act passed by this House only becomes law when it comes into force. He will be right, I submit, to say that as soon as any of these provisions came into force we would potentially breach international law. That is not quite the same thing, as I think he would fairly concede.
Before I call the Chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee, I should draw to the attention of the House that 100 Members are hoping to catch my eye from the Back Benches. It will not be possible to call everyone, but in order to allow as many people as possible to participate in such an important debate, we will have a time limit of four minutes with immediate effect. I call Sir William Cash.
I say to the right hon. Gentleman that if we are not going to leave the European Union without a deal, we clearly need to have a deal that enables us to leave the European Union. It is very simple. I have made the point on a number of occasions and I will continue to make it.
What I have done today in writing to President Tusk is ask for that extension to article 50 until the end of June. I have been clear that, as I have said, I do not believe that Brexit should be delayed beyond that point. That would give us the opportunity to ensure that the House can consider again a deal, and then take forward the withdrawal agreement and implementation Bill in the circumstances that a deal was passed. In the circumstances that a deal was not passed, then it would obviously be necessary, as I have just said to my right hon. Friend the Member for West Dorset (Sir Oliver Letwin), for the House to consider how we should proceed. I would also say to my hon. Friend that, as he will have heard the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs saying in the debate on no deal last week, there are particular issues, particularly in relation to the governance of Northern Ireland, in relation to leaving the European Union without a deal on 29 March. I continue to hope and continue to believe that the best way for this country to leave the European Union is to do so on the basis of a negotiated deal, and the extension to 30 June would allow us to do that.
Obviously, I have made it clear that we will bring forward the motion that is required under the legislation, under section 13(4). May I gently say to the right hon. Gentleman, as I did to my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Rushcliffe (Mr Clarke), that it is not the case that it has not been possible for this House to bring forward votes of the sort that the right hon. Gentleman is talking about? It has been open to this House. In some cases, the House has brought forward such votes and those have been rejected.
There will be a number of statutory instruments that the House will be addressing. The House will be working hard on Brexit arrangements next week. On the issue of tariffs in the event of no deal, discussions are still being undertaken with businesses and other sectors.
What I am doing is working to ensure that we can bring a deal back to the House. It will then be for the right hon. Gentleman and other Members of the House to determine whether they want to support a deal with the European Union.
I recognise the passion with which my right hon. Friend is campaigning on this particular issue, but she is assuming that it is not possible to reach an agreement that will secure the support of the House. The purpose of what we are doing at the moment in talking with parties and Back Benchers across this House is to find those issues—I have indicated issues in my statement—on which we can move and on which we can then find that support across the House. I believe it is right for us to continue to work for a deal to leave the European Union on 29 March, and for us to do so with a deal that has secured the support of this House.
Of course, the point about what we are doing in terms of this process is identifying those issues on which there is agreement across the House and on which the support of the House can be secured, and dealing with that with the European Union, but while also being faithful to the vote that was cast in the referendum. I believe that when we look at this issue, everybody should not only say, “Should we be leaving the European Union?”, but recognise the reasons that lay behind the vote to leave the European Union and deliver on them.
I did indeed confirm that our intent and what the Government are working for is to leave the European Union on 29 March. There are those who may try to find ways to prevent that from happening—I think that is a real risk—but the Government are firm in their commitment in relation to leaving the European Union.
On the issue that my hon. Friend has raised on the withdrawal Act, we have passed the withdrawal Act through this House—through this Parliament—and it does repeal the European Communities Act 1972. Of course, for the period of the implementation period, it would be necessary within the WAB—the withdrawal Bill—as my hon. Friend knows, to ensure that we are still able to maintain the rules that we need to operate by in order to abide by the negotiated agreement on the implementation period, but I can assure him that it remains the commitment of this Government to leave the European Union on 29 March.
The Government are the servant of the people: we are ensuring that we are delivering what the people want in relation to Brexit. We have negotiated what I believe genuinely is a good deal for the United Kingdom, and that is why I will continue to encourage Members of this House to support it.
As I said earlier, the offer in the progress report is there, as the report itself makes very clear, on the basis that we will be making an agreement with the European Union on our trading relationship, and on our relationship in other areas, such as security.
The point I made in response to my hon. Friend the Member for Gainsborough (Sir Edward Leigh) was that decisions about the future rules and regulations on which this country operates will be made by this Parliament. We have said very clearly that we will avoid, and guarantee that we will not have, a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. In any trade agreement, a decision will be taken as to those rules and regulations on which we wish to operate on the same basis, those areas where we have the same objectives but will operate on a different basis, and those areas that are irrelevant to the issue of the trade agreement.
My right hon. Friend is absolutely right, and we see increasing interest in moving on to talk about that issue. That will absolutely be, as he says, not just in our interests but in the interests of the European Union; that is what is right for us both. We want the matter to be negotiated by March 2019, so that the UK comes out of the European Union knowing what the new partnership and trade agreement will be.
I have to say to the right hon. Gentleman that, as we leave the European Union in March 2019, we will leave full membership of the customs union and full membership of the single market. What we then want is a period of time when practical changes can be made, as we move towards the end state—the trade agreement—that we will have agreed with the European Union. We have to negotiate for the implementation period what the arrangements would be. We have suggested that that should be a new agreement—an agreement that we should be able to operate on the same basis and on the same rules and regulations.
I note the point that the hon. Gentleman has made about contaminated blood and I will speak to the Secretary of State for Health. I think this has already been looked at, and other ways of dealing with this issue have already been introduced and addressed.
No. Mr Speaker, we are building opportunity and aspiration. We will also deliver a more secure United Kingdom because of the choices that we are making to prioritise our defence and national security. Our armed forces Bill will give those who put their lives on the line in the service of our country the proper respect that they deserve, with more security in the way they live and work. Our commitment to renew Trident means that this country maintains its continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent as the ultimate guarantee of our safety, and with a Prime Minister who is prepared to use it. We will continue to play a leading role in international efforts to tackle mass migration and climate change, to alleviate poverty and to end modern slavery. We have always looked beyond Europe to the wider world and we will continue to do so.
In conclusion, this has been a difficult time for our country. I know that there are many parents who worry about the kind of world that their children are growing up in. I recognise that and understand it. It has been an unsettling time that has tested the spirit of our country, but we are a resilient country. Our response to disaster and acts of terror that take the lives of innocent people must be this: compassion, unity, resolve. We are a great nation and a great people. We have been through and survived the toughest of times before, and we thrived. Once again we can and will grow stronger from the challenges that we face today.
The Queen’s Speech on its own will not solve every challenge that our country faces—not every problem can be solved by an Act of Parliament—but it is a step forward to building a more compassionate, united and confident nation. That is what this Government will aim to achieve and what this Queen’s Speech will deliver. I commend the Queen’s Speech to the House.