European Union (Withdrawal) Bill Amendments

I don't agree with most of the amendments that have been proposed, and I certainly don't believe that the last three of your four suggestions would be in line with the majority decision of the electorate in the referendum‎. I continue to believe that it would have been better if the referendum had resulted in a different outcome; but it didn't, and we must now respect the democratic decision that was made.

So far as amendment 7 is concerned, the situation is somewhat different because the Government has already promised a Parliamentary vote on any deal that is negotiated with the EU, and this is clearly consistent with the result of the referendum, which did not specify that we should leave with or without a deal -- simply that we should leave. I am not convinced that the amendment is correctly drafted at present. But I am sure that, as the Bill progresses, an agreement on a suitable amendment either to clause 9 (as in the case of amendment 7) or elsewhere will be reached.

So far as UK citizens currently in the EU and EU citizens in the UK are concerned, I believe that we will shortly see an agreement reached on this with the EU and I welcome that.

I don’t believe that there is any question of the UK remaining within the Single Market after Brexit – and I don’t believe that this will be consistent with the referendum result, since that would in effect mean remaining within the rules of the EU.