8 April 2019
Iain Duncan Smith opposes the Bill to delay Brexit

Iain Duncan Smith opposes the Bill to delay Brexit and condemns the speed with which the Bill was rushed through the House and in particular how the unelected House of Lords spent more time on the Bill than the elected House of Commons.

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

Will my right hon. Friend confirm that at all stages we will continue to oppose the Bill and that the Government oppose any amendments in process? Does she not agree that there is a distinct irony in that the other place has spent what is now two days debating the Bill while we ended up with a tiny amount of time and did not even debate Report or Third Reading? That is a travesty for the Chamber that is meant to be the democratic Chamber, with the other one the unelected Chamber.

Andrea Leadsom

My right hon. Friend is exactly right that it should be for this House to make key decisions, yet here we have the unelected House making play with the Bill, which is absolutely unconventional for the procedures of this Parliament. Despite the Government’s grave misgivings about this legislation, for all the reasons we set out in the debate, we will not prevent the Bill being presented for Royal Assent, should it pass both Houses.

It is a well-established convention that the Government have the ability to seek and negotiate international agreements, so the Government will support one amendment in the other place: the royal prerogative amendment. There may be one or two others that seek to ensure that the prerogative is maintained as far as possible.