All 2 Lindsay Hoyle contributions to the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020

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Fri 20th Dec 2019
European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill
Commons Chamber

2nd reading & 2nd reading: House of Commons & Money resolution: House of Commons & Programme motion: House of Commons & Ways and Means resolution: House of Commons & 2nd reading & 2nd reading: House of Commons & Money resolution & Money resolution: House of Commons & Programme motion & Programme motion: House of Commons & Ways and Means resolution & Ways and Means resolution: House of Commons & 2nd reading & Programme motion & Money resolution & Ways and Means resolution
Wed 22nd Jan 2020
European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill
Commons Chamber

Consideration of Lords amendmentsPing Pong & Consideration of Lords amendments & Ping Pong: House of Commons & Ping Pong & Ping Pong: House of Commons

European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill Debate

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Department: Cabinet Office

European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill

Lindsay Hoyle Excerpts
2nd reading & 2nd reading: House of Commons & Money resolution: House of Commons & Programme motion: House of Commons & Ways and Means resolution: House of Commons & Money resolution & Programme motion & Ways and Means resolution
Friday 20th December 2019

(4 years, 5 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Second Reading
Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I inform the House that I have not selected any of the reasoned amendments.

Before I invite the Prime Minister to move the Second Reading, I must announce my decision on certification for the purposes of Standing Order No. 83J (Certification of bills etc. as relating exclusively to England or England and Wales and being within devolved legislative competence). On the basis of material put before me, I must inform the House that, in my opinion, the Bill does not meet the criteria required for certification under the Standing Order.

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Ian Blackford Portrait Ian Blackford
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Of course there must be effective scrutiny. The legislation offers no guarantees on workers’ rights and environmental standards, and no protection for the NHS from a future trade deal with the US. Brexit will hit jobs and living standards, and it may leave Scottish businesses facing a competitive disadvantage with businesses in Northern Ireland. The Prime Minister can talk about trade deals all he wants, but the harsh reality is that a basic trade agreement of the type he wants to negotiate will lead to GDP being lower by the equivalent of £1,600 per person compared with EU membership. People will be worse off, but if they watch or listen to this debate, they will hear Conservative Members laughing. That shows the seriousness with which those hon. and right hon. Members treat these crucial issues.

Is it any wonder that the people of Scotland, armed with the facts and aware of the deceit from the Vote Leave campaign and the Brexiteers in No. 10, came out in huge numbers last week and backed the Scottish National party to escape this Government’s disastrous Brexit? Escaping Brexit is now the only option to protect our economy. We have tried time and time again to compromise, but the Tories are simply not listening to Scotland.

That was why Scotland’s First Minister wrote to the Prime Minister yesterday asking for power to be transferred from the United Kingdom Government to the Scottish Parliament to hold a referendum on independence. The Scottish Government have a clear democratic mandate from the 2016 Holyrood election to offer the people of Scotland a choice over Scotland’s future within the term of this Parliament. There is a significant and material change in the circumstances that prevailed in 2014. Let me nail once and for all this issue about the referendum being “once in a generation”. The fact of the matter is that in the declaration that both Governments signed, it was made clear that it would not obstruct a future independence referendum.

Last week we won that mandate again. Scotland must consent to its own future. Westminster, in its arrogance and ignorance, has treated Scotland with contempt for too long. It would simply be undemocratic to ignore the will, the voice and the ask of the Scottish people. If the Tories think that Scotland does not want independence, let them give us our say. What is to be feared from more democracy? Everything has changed, and that is why the Scottish National party today demands that the Prime Minister, if he is not running scared, gives Scotland its choice—its right to choose its own future.

We have a way out of this Brexit mess, and I appeal to those in Scotland who have supported other parties to come with us and complete the powers of our Parliament. We can escape Brexit, and we can take on our own responsibilities. There is a better way, which will secure our economy, and allow us to tackle inequality and deal with the climate emergency. It is not this Tory Brexit; we can save ourselves from that. It is time for Scottish independence. [Applause.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. Come on; let us start as we mean to go on. To help everybody, I am going to bring in an informal six-minute limit so that everybody has equal time to get through.

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Hilary Benn Portrait Hilary Benn
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I agree with my hon. Friend: that is a matter of great regret.

I come to my final point. Our leaving the European Union will create great cheer on the Government Benches, just as it will sadden many of us on the Labour side. The divisions it has created will not easily be healed: many people still think that this is a terrible mistake that will weaken our economy and our influence in the world.

In the modern age, it is how we use our sovereignty that will determine how well we can advance our interests and protect our citizens. If we have learned anything from the events of recent times, it is that if we are to deal with the great challenges we face as a world—climate change, the movement of people around the globe, threats to peace and security, making sure that the global economy works in the interests of all—we can do it only by working together. We are about to walk away from one of the most important relationships that enables us to do that. I say to the Government that we will hold them to account as the process develops and unfolds.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I make an appeal to Members: if we all take nine minutes, quite a few of you are not going to get in. Please—I have given an informal limit to give a bit of flexibility, but do not take advantage of Members who come later.

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Damian Green Portrait Damian Green
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Yes, I do. In a sense, it is less important that I think that than that, as is quite clear as I look at this House today, the British people think that. I do not think that that is a fruitful avenue for the hon. Lady to pursue.

As I was saying, the last few years have been miserable for democracy in this country. The more we hark back and fight the old battles, the longer that misery will persist. I hope that this Bill, this debate and the fact that we will have left by the end of next month mean that Members on both sides of the old European argument and both sides of the House take the chance to move on, so that we can begin the healing process that this country desperately needs.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Sir Jeffrey Donaldson will speak next, after which there will be a maiden speech with no interruptions.

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None Portrait Several hon. Members rose—
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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We now come to a maiden speech. I remind Members that there should be no interruptions. I call Claire Hanna.

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Rachel Maclean Portrait Rachel Maclean (Redditch) (Con)
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Thank you, Mr Speaker, for calling me so early in the debate.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Don’t get too used to it.

Rachel Maclean Portrait Rachel Maclean
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I was just congratulating myself on putting my tick in the right box to vote for you, Mr Speaker. It is indeed wonderful to see you in the Chair. Congratulations on your election, and I hope that it ushers in the start of a brave new Parliament, not just for me and my own speeches, but, of course, for all of us, and for the country.

In the general election that took place only just over a week ago—which seems incredible—I was returned to this place with more than 63% of the vote, the largest share ever received in the fantastic constituency of Redditch since its formation in 1997. It exceeded even the vote share of Jacqui Smith, the former Labour Home Secretary, when she represented the constituency so ably. That, I think, constitutes an overwhelming mandate for me to get Brexit done, and then move on to the priorities on which my constituents want me to focus on their behalf. One of those priorities is, of course, returning services to the Alex hospital. New Members, you will hear that again—hint, hint.

I think it fair to say, along with my colleagues who were also elected in 2017, that we have had a pretty miserable time of it. All of us entered the House full of the passion that my wonderful new colleagues sitting near me clearly feel. We were eager to do our best not just for our constituents but for the whole country, but we have not been able to fulfil what we were sent to Parliament to do. I believe that, as a Member with the privilege to sit on these Benches, I am a servant of my constituents. It is not my job to tell them that they were wrong, and that they did not know what they were voting for. I voted remain, but at the end of the day we have to respect democracy. People who are on the wrong side of arguments just need to move on, and, finally, we have a chance to do that.

I must admit that when the Prime Minister set out on his path of first trying to reopen the withdrawal agreement and get rid of the backstop and then going for a general election, I thought to myself, “He has an uphill struggle in front of him.” I really wondered whether he would be able to do it, given the state of the Parliament that we had at the time, but I think that what he has done is take a leaf out of the British Army engineers’ book. They have a saying when faced with a seemingly unsurmountable challenge: “We will get it done, whether it can be done or not.” I think that that is what the Prime Minister has done, and I want to thank him for returning all of us here, and for breaking the deadlock and allowing us to do our job of serving the people. We have a refreshed Parliament. We have a new intake who are full of passion and energy and ideas to transform our whole country, and we can finally do that.

I can think of no better way in which to finish this brief session of Parliament than to wish everyone a very, very merry Christmas, including you, Mr Speaker, the Clerks and all the Doorkeepers, and all the staff who have worked so hard to make us all feel welcome. It was only two years ago that I was here for the first time, and I remember how confusing it was, but the staff are so patient and so lovely.

Let me end by saying, in case anyone was in any doubt, that I will definitely be voting in the Aye Lobby to honour the democratic wishes of the lovely people of Redditch who have put me here—and by wishing everyone a very merry Brexmas.

European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill Debate

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Department: Department for Exiting the European Union

European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill

Lindsay Hoyle Excerpts
Consideration of Lords amendments & Ping Pong: House of Commons & Ping Pong
Wednesday 22nd January 2020

(4 years, 4 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Consideration of Lords amendments.
Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I must draw the House’s attention to the fact that financial privilege is engaged in Lords amendment 1.



Clause 7

Rights related to residence: application deadline and temporary protection

Steve Barclay Portrait The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union (Steve Barclay)
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I beg to move, That this House disagrees with Lords amendment 1.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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With this we may take Lords amendments 2 to 5, and Government motions to disagree.

Steve Barclay Portrait Steve Barclay
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Less than a fortnight has passed since we last debated the Bill in this House. Since then the House of Lords has sat for nearly 40 hours to debate more than 100 amendments. The noble Lords in the other place have asked this House to think again on five matters and I will address each in turn.

Turning first to Lords amendment 1 on citizens’ rights tabled by the noble Lord Oates, I know that noble Lords share the Government’s commitment to putting the rights and welfare of citizens at the heart of our withdrawal negotiations. The first part of the amendment establishes a declaratory system and the second part requires Ministers to bring forward regulations making provisions for those with declaratory rights to apply for a document evidencing their rights. This amendment would mean the successful EU settlement scheme in its current form would need to be abandoned, because there would be no need to register if people could later rely on a declaration that they were already in the UK. This would make null and void the 2.8 million applications and the 2.5 million grants of status that have already been completed. The Government would, under this amendment, also be unable to issue digital status to EU citizens without also issuing physical documents, including to those already holding a digital status under the current scheme. That would increase the risk of fraud and raises costs to Government and citizens.

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Wayne David Portrait Wayne David
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Given the Secretary of State’s reference to the letter to the Welsh Government and the Welsh Minister, how does he square the circle of wanting, on the one hand, to reinforce the principles of Sewel and so on, but on the other, wanting to amend the legislation to withdraw the commitment?

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. I am bit bothered about time. We have quite a few Members who want to make speeches. I remind Members that they cannot just walk in and put a question to the Minister—let us all work together for one another.

Steve Barclay Portrait Steve Barclay
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I was trying to be generous in taking interventions, but I will take your direction, Mr Speaker.

We very much respect the devolved Governments’ opposition to Brexit as a whole, but the legislative consent process should not be the place to show such disagreements; rather, it is for voicing concerns with parts of legislation that relate to devolved competences. The refusal of legislative consent in no way affects the Sewel convention or the Government’s dedication to it. However, as recognised by both Mike Russell and Lord Sewel, these are not normal times. Given those circumstances, I urge Members to reject this amendment.

We have covered significant ground in debating this Bill. Once passed, it will stand as an historic piece of legislation. I therefore hope that the House will respectfully disagree with their lordships’ amendments.