At the end of this post is the full text of my he Bill which was given its formal First Reading yesterday. As readers can see it about as straightforward as it could be. Indeed, it is difficult to think how it could be more straightforward. The result of the referendum was clear. Over one and a quarter million more people voted for Leave than Remain. This was despite the whole of Government, the Prime Minister, the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party, nearly all of the Trade Union movement, nearly all of Big Business, the European Union (naturally), the Big Banks the then President of the United States of America trying to persuade people to vote to Remain and warning of the most dire consequences should people dare to vote to Leave.
Interestingly, the latest figures released yesterday show the economy continues to grow. In the fourth quarter of 2016 it grew by 0.6%. So despite over six months having passed since the referendum our economy continues to grow at the fastest rate of the most advanced G7 countries.
Anyway, back to Brexit. This Bill is simply about ensuring there is Parliamentary approval to confirm the result of the referendum. This is in accordance with the judgment of the Supreme Court announced on Tuesday. It is bizarre that those who were criticising the government for creating uncertainty are now seeking to frustrate the result of the referendum.
The Bill will be debated for two days on Second Reading. Most bills including those which are many times the complexity of this Bill only have one day. The following week we will spend another three days considering the Bill in Committee of the Whole House. Usually bills are only considered in a Committee of around 16 MP’s at the Committee Stage.
If the Bill is passed by the House of Commons it will then go to the House of Lords where it will go through all the legislative processes again. I find it difficult to accept this does not constitute sufficient Parliamentary scrutiny of a Bill which only seeks to carry out the wishes of the British people as expressed in the referendum.
This is the text of the Bill:
A BILL TO
Confer power on the Prime Minister to notify, under Article 50(2) of the Treaty
on European Union, the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the
Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—
1. Power to notify withdrawal from the EU
(1)The Prime Minister may notify, under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European
Union, the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the EU.
(2)This section has effect despite any provision made by or under the European
Communities Act 1972 or any other enactment.
2. Short title
Act may be cited as the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017.