Sir William Cash: this is a very simple Bill that is merely about notification and triggering

Yesterday the House of Commons rejected the two peers’ amendments (seeking a unilateral guarantee of residency to EU citizens in the UK and requiring a “meaningful” vote for parliament). The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Billthen moved to the House of Lords where both amendments were voted down. Hence, Parliament passed the bill unamended. Theresa May is now able to trigger Article 50 before the end of the month.

Sir William Cash said, “First, this is a very simple Bill that is merely about notification and triggering. It is as simple as that. Secondly, the plain fact is that judicial review, which my right hon. Friends the Members for West Dorset (Sir Oliver Letwin) and for Forest of Dean (Mr Harper) dealt with so well, would be a gift to the courts and the lawyers. It really is completely inappropriate. My third point is on the question of parliamentary sovereignty. The fact is that the issue today is not about parliamentary sovereignty. In fact, it is about undermining a decision that has been made by a referendum of the British people that was itself conferred by a sovereign Act of Parliament. That is the distinction and that is what we need to concentrate on.

My last point is simply this: we cannot tie the Prime Minister’s hands. It is inconceivable that we would legislate, make that judicially reviewable and, at the same time, pass amendments the effect of which would be to introduce a Committee of Parliament that would decide on questions that have to be decided on by the Government. Our constitution operates by parliamentary government, not by Committee of Parliament, otherwise we would go back to the 17th century; and I invite people to look at the Barebones Parliament.”

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