Iain Duncan Smith questions the Government about the role of the Brexit withdrawal agreement’s Joint Committee

20th March 2019

Iain Duncan Smith questions the Government about the role of the Joint Committee outlined in the Brexit withdrawal agreement, in particular where the committee will make legal rulings in “situations unforeseen” who decided was it unforeseen?

I congratulate my right hon. Friend the Member for Rayleigh and Wickford (Mr Francois) on securing this urgent question, and you, Mr Speaker, on granting it. May I simply ask my hon. Friend on the Front Bench about a particular point that was made by my right hon. Friend and the Opposition spokesman? With regard to “situations unforeseen” when this agreement was signed, who decides what is unforeseen?

On that specific question, the Joint Committee will have a role in suggesting what has not been foreseen. This is a very hypothetical question. What I find so extraordinary in this whole episode is that all of this is contingent on the withdrawal agreement being passed, yet my right hon. Friends who are asking these questions have consistently voted against the agreement. It seems very bizarre to me—[Interruption.] No, the point is that there is no way, as the question from my right hon. Friend the Member for Rayleigh and Wickford suggested or seemed to imply, that this is some sort of mystical plot, as I have said, to undermine the democratic processes of this House. The Joint Committee will not be doing that. The British Government will be in wide consultation with the House, there will be ample room for debate and everything will be done with the utmost transparency.

Hansard

 

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