Parliamentary Scrutiny of Leaving the EU

Nick's Intervention in the Opposition Day Debate

 

Mr Davis

I will give way in a moment.

I want to address the final part of the motion about this House being able properly to scrutinise Government plans for leaving the EU before article 50 is invoked. Article 50 sets out the process by which we leave the EU, which has been decided by the British people. Invoking it is a job for the Government. Leaving the EU is what the British people voted for on 23 June, and article 50 is how we do it.

 

Nick Herbert (Arundel and South Downs) (Con)

I welcome the terms of the Government amendment, which seems entirely sensible. Does my right hon. Friend therefore agree, and is my understanding right, that he now accepts that those of us raising concerns about the level of debate necessary ahead of the triggering of article 50 are by no means seeking to frustrate the will of the people—we recognise the instruction from the British people that we should leave the European Union—but seeking a full understanding of the Government’s broad negotiating aims?

 

Mr Davis

I am glad to hear my right hon. Friend say that. In truth, scrutiny of our strategic aims is what debates such as this are about, as is parliamentary engagement of the kind I have mentioned—debating the issues that will inform our negotiating position, and holding the Government to account. However, such scrutiny has to be at the strategic level; it cannot be at the tactical level or enter into the detailed negotiation.

 

You can read the full debate here

Nick Herbert