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Jonathan Djanogly welcomes Brexit compromise on “no deal” scenario


12th June 2018

Speaking during the debate on the Lords Amendments to the Brexit Bill, Jonathan Djanogly welcomes the compromise offered to Parliament in the event that Parliament rejects the Prime Minister’s deal on Brexit.

Mr Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon) (Con)

The key difference between Lords amendment 19 and Government amendment (a) is that, in the event of a no deal scenario, the Government amendment simply requires a statement, while the Lords amendment in effect grants Parliament a power to issue negotiating directions. On the face of it, it looks attractive to say that if the Government cannot deliver, the Commons should be able to step in, but on these procedural amendments, I can see the other side of the argument.

Governments negotiate treaties, under the terms of the royal prerogative, and Executives govern, and I am not one who would wish to undermine that concept except in the most extreme circumstances. That is what I have been weighing up in recent days. I also recognise that the proposal in Government amendment (a) concedes the Lords request that Parliament should gain a legal right to a veto on an international agreement. I believe that this would be the first time such a veto had been allowed in law in the UK, and it moves us into line with the European Parliament approvals. It is fair to say that, in the past few days, the Government have gone some way to address the concerns on this issue.

In my considerations, I have been no little influenced by the Prime Minister, who I sincerely believe wants the best deal possible for the UK and who is asking to be able to go to the June EU meeting with the freest possible hand. However, if the Prime Minister gets the deal this country needs, even with the Government concession in their amendment (a), there is still no plan B if Parliament then rejects the deal. That is why I think the new compromise, tabled last night by my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Beaconsfield (Mr Grieve), moves towards the balance required in retaining both constitutional integrity and practical requirements. I was therefore very pleased to hear the ​Secretary of State say that this issue will now be looked at again in the Lords, and the Solicitor General reinforced that in his earlier comments.

Hansard



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