…when all about you are losing….

David DavisIts perhaps understandable that David Davis used yesterdays Torygraph to call on his Conservative colleagues in Parliament not to cause a problem for his Government. Most MPs read a selection of weekend papers but the Telegraph is probably where Conservative MPs feel most at home. The headline for the article “We cannot allow Parliament the chance to veto Brexit” It might as well state – you lot won’t want to take responsibility for the outcome of this negotiation so avoid that choice now. As Mr Davis writes:

“At 137 words, the Bill that enables the Prime Minister to notify the European Union of our withdrawal is one of the shortest on record. Yet it has generated many hours of debate in Parliament. That’s a good thing” 

Its almost as though the author of yesterday’s article is not the same man who in October stated to Keir Starmer “Article 50 is a prerogative power in view of all the lawyers we have spoken to, it’s a prerogative power in the view of the Attorney General, who will be presenting the case in court in the coming week, and it will be decided in court. It will be decided in court, which you ought to take seriously.”

Mr Davis also wrote in yesterdays article:

“There has also been much talk of the need for a “meaningful vote” for Parliament at the end of the process, and as I have said, the Government has already committed that both Houses will have a vote on the final draft agreement. But the idea that Parliament should unilaterally be able to reject a breakdown in talks in any scenario – as the Lords have also proposed – is clearly not feasible and should not be put into law. What would actually happen if Parliament voted against EU exit in such circumstances?”

The idea that a decision taken now should bind the hands of Parliament is surely as counter to the speech Mr Davis made on 5th September in Parliament as anything could possibly be. He said then: “Mr Speaker, the referendum result was a clear sign that the majority of British people wish to see Parliament’s sovereignty strengthened – and so throughout this process, Parliament will be regularly informed, updated and engaged.”

There seems to be a confusion by people like David Davis and Jacob Rees Mogg about how somehow Parliament can gain its sovereignty back from Brussels but only if they do as they are told. As Mr Mogg stated in Parliament on 24th January “Do you notice that those who now wail parliamentary sovereignty mean the yoke of Brussels, when they say scrutiny they mean delay, and when they say respect they mean condescension? Do you agree with me that the British people have voted and we must legislate?”

I voted to remain and believe we are making a huge mistake in leaving the EU, but making mistakes are part of life. It is when we fail to deal with mistakes that the real problems emerge. Even if I am wrong and Brexit proves to be a great success David Davis must not ignore or call on others to overturn the Lords amendments. The first of which gives security to EU nationals living in the UK. David Davis writes:

“the first passed by the Lords would require that, if the Government is unable to reach a reciprocal deal on the rights of EU nationals in the UK and UK nationals in the EU within three months of the negotiations beginning, we must unilaterally set out plans for guarantees for EU nationals here. We’re absolutely determined to secure the status of EU nationals in this country, who contribute so much to our economy and society. Yet we also have a duty to UK nationals living in the EU. It makes sense to give guarantees to all at the same time and in the same way – and that need to act reciprocally is well understood by our EU counterparts. But if this amendment stands, there will be little incentive for the EU to quickly secure the status of UK citizens.”

I hope that all UK nationals living abroad can do so for as long as they wish. However if David Davis was really concerned about these people he would have argued that they should have a vote in the referendum instead of staying silent whilst this was denied to any who had lived abroad for more than 15 years. If we lose people from the UK who have been living here for some time, we lose the fabric of our own society. We also risk losing people who are helping to run our vital services. After all it was David Davis who speaking at a Spectator fringe meeting at the Conservative Party Conference said:

“We have no intention of deporting people or treating people who, through no fault of their own, are here during the middle of a transition to their own country, but what we have to do is also keep in mind the rights of British citizens abroad and so we’ll fix the whole thing together and I’m absolutely 100 per cent sure we’ll be able to do that and there will be no difficulty for anybody.”



About ianchisnall

I have a passion to see public policy made accessible everyone who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as in policies on health services and strategic planning.
This entry was posted in EU Referendum, Parliament and Democracy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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