Iain Duncan Smith calls for swift progress of Bill to trigger Article 50

24th January 2017

Following the Supreme Court judgment, Iain Duncan Smith calls for the Bill to be short and simple to ensure swift progress through Parliament to enable the triggering of Article 50.

Mr Iain Duncan Smith (Chingford and Woodford Green) (Con)

The very fact that this was a split judgment shows that our right hon. Friend the Prime Minister was absolutely right to take the case all the way to get a full decision. I ask the Secretary of State to resist our right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Rushcliffe (Mr Clarke) and not to overcomplicate this matter. After all, the question is: should the Government trigger article 50? I urge the Secretary of State, when he brings the Bill to Parliament, to keep it short, to keep it simple and, most of all, to keep it swift?

Mr Davis

Well, we will certainly keep it straightforward. My right hon. Friend is right: this was—is—a unique circumstance in many ways. It is unique in terms of the importance to the United Kingdom, but also unique in the fact that it is carrying out the will of 17.5 million people who voted directly—something that has never happened before in our history—so it was important to take the matter to the Supreme Court to get the full judgment. I give him this undertaking: I will do everything in my power to make sure that the measure goes through ​swiftly, and that while it is properly scrutinised, it is a simple and straightforward Bill that delivers the triggering of article 50 by 31 March.

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