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Update on EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill

February 6, 2017 8:40 PM

This is an update on the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill. The Bill is in Committee Stage today, tomorrow and Wednesday and there are many amendments tabled to it.

I will be both voting for and putting my name to amendments that seek to change improve the bill on a number of key issues, including the following:

* Tonight, I am supporting and will vote to oblige the Government report back, every two months, on the progress of the negotiations to withdraw from the EU. This will involve Parliament in the process and will ensure that Parliament can properly scrutinise the Government over its negotiating strategy.

* I am supporting an amendment to make the Government produce a report at the end of the negotiations on having a public referendum on the terms of exit, something that I support happening.

* I am supporting amendments to grant leave to remain to EU citizens resident in the UK (and also UK residents resident in the EU).

* I am supporting amendments to ensure that Parliament gets to vote on whether or not the UK leaves the European Economic Area (in accordance with Article 127) so Parliament has a say on whether or not we should leave the European Single Market. I support us continuing to have access to the Single Market which is important for many British businesses.

* I am supporting an amendment vote to protect the NHS from being part of any trade negotiations with foreign countries so that the NHS is protected from any attempts by foreign companies to seek to gain access to NHS services.

* I am supporting an amendment to force the Government at the end of negotiations to publish a report on the economic impact of leaving the EU including on health spending.

This week and also over the next two years, I and colleagues will hold the Government to account and once they have started, will scrutinise the negotiations and will continue to call for a strong economic and political relationship between the UK and the EU and EU countries.