8 Mims Davies debates involving the Department for Exiting the European Union

Tue 7th Nov 2017
Thu 26th Oct 2017
Wed 8th Feb 2017
European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill
Commons Chamber

3rd reading: House of Commons & Committee: 3rd sitting: House of Commons & Report stage: House of Commons
Wed 1st Feb 2017
Tue 24th Jan 2017

Oral Answers to Questions

Mims Davies Excerpts
Thursday 14th December 2017

(6 years, 5 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Edward Argar Portrait Edward Argar (Charnwood) (Con)
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9. What progress has been made on maintaining citizens’ rights for (a) UK nationals living in the EU and (b) non-UK EU nationals living in the UK after the UK leaves the EU.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
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19. What progress has been made on maintaining citizens’ rights for (a) UK nationals living in the EU and (b) non-UK EU nationals living in the UK after the UK leaves the EU.

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Robin Walker Portrait Mr Walker
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My hon. Friend will not be surprised to hear that I do agree with him. The Prime Minister has always been clear that we wanted an early agreement on citizens’ rights and that any agreement must be reciprocal to protect the rights of 4 million people. I am delighted that we have delivered that commitment. The agreement will mean that UK nationals in the EU can have confidence that they can carry on living their lives as before. It will provide them with certainty about residency, healthcare and pensions, and, of course, the same goes for EU nationals in the UK.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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I recognise the huge contribution that the 3 million EU nationals living in the UK have made, particularly in the NHS, which was brought home to me by Stephane Guegan in my constituency. Can the Minister confirm that that issue will remain front and centre in any difficult negotiations going forward?

Robin Walker Portrait Mr Walker
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My hon. Friend is absolutely right to raise the case of one of her constituents who has made a significant contribution. I think that we all recognise that from our own constituencies. I trust that she joins me in welcoming the cost-free exchange of EU permanent residence documents for the new settled status documents as one part of the agreement that we have reached. None the less, she is right that we must continue to take this issue seriously.

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David Davis Portrait Mr Davis
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I have to be very careful because things do not always come immediately to a Secretary of State when they arrive at the Department, but as far as I am aware, none.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
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T4. Recreational boating is a vital part of my constituency’s leisure facilities around Hamble and Netley. Will the Minister outline what assessment his Department has made of the impact of leaving the EU on recreational boating on the Solent?

Steve Baker Portrait The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union (Mr Steve Baker)
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As a former fast catamaran sailor in the seas in the area that my hon. Friend refers to, I am happy to say that the Government’s maritime and ports sectoral report sets out a description of the sector, the current EU regulatory regime, existing frameworks for how trade is facilitated between countries in the sector, and sector views. This report has been available to Members of both Houses to read in a secure reading room. The UK will remain a great maritime nation.

Exiting the EU: Sectoral Analysis

Mims Davies Excerpts
Tuesday 7th November 2017

(6 years, 6 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Urgent Questions are proposed each morning by backbench MPs, and up to two may be selected each day by the Speaker. Chosen Urgent Questions are announced 30 minutes before Parliament sits each day.

Each Urgent Question requires a Government Minister to give a response on the debate topic.

This information is provided by Parallel Parliament and does not comprise part of the offical record

Steve Baker Portrait Mr Baker
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I refer the right hon. Gentleman to a range of answers that I have already given.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
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The Minister has confirmed that the sectoral analyses will need to be released in relevant time and will need to have the correct information. Does he agree that resolving this matter to the satisfaction of the whole House and this country is most important and that long-term damage to the UK is certainly what nobody should be seeking?

Steve Baker Portrait Mr Baker
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As I have said during the course of this debate, members of the Government are parliamentarians first and we do wish to satisfy the House. I say to my hon. Friend that our first priority as a Department is securing the long-term future of this country, and it is to that end that we will bend all our work.

Leaving the EU: Parliamentary Vote

Mims Davies Excerpts
Thursday 26th October 2017

(6 years, 6 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Urgent Questions are proposed each morning by backbench MPs, and up to two may be selected each day by the Speaker. Chosen Urgent Questions are announced 30 minutes before Parliament sits each day.

Each Urgent Question requires a Government Minister to give a response on the debate topic.

This information is provided by Parallel Parliament and does not comprise part of the offical record

David Davis Portrait Mr Davis
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What I think I told the hon. and learned Lady yesterday was that, at the last Joint Ministerial Committee on European Negotiations—JMCEN—I talked about the economic impacts within each of the devolved Administrations, and I talked about information exchanges to influence the process.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
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My right hon. Friend will be aware of the 18 Labour MEPs who recently voted to hold up these key EU negotiations, showing, frankly, a distinct lack of ambition about moving forward on the key issue—our trading agreements. We should be pulling together in the national interest to secure the best possible deal and outcome. That is what all our constituents want.

David Davis Portrait Mr Davis
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My hon. Friend is right: this House should be pulling together in the national interest, but let me say this. I have never, ever accused my opposite number of being anything other than interested in the national interest—of course, he has a political interest. While I am at it, by the way, I should also say to the Chairman of the Exiting the European Union Committee that I took his views as his views, not those of the Select Committee as well. It is very important in this exercise that we keep things on a proper, stable, rational and patriotic level, and I think everybody does.

Oral Answers to Questions

Mims Davies Excerpts
Thursday 27th April 2017

(7 years ago)

Commons Chamber
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Robin Walker Portrait Mr Walker
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I recognise the importance of that issue. I discussed some of those issues directly with the Scottish hospitality sector during my last visit to Scotland. Of course we want to ensure that visitors from Europe can continue to come to the UK and spend their money here, and we want to ensure that we have the best access for tourists in both directions. That will be a subject for the negotiations to come.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
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Southampton airport in my Eastleigh constituency provides regular flights to Amsterdam and therefore more than 55 African nations, driving, among other things, bilateral trade. Will the Minister outline what his Department is doing to promote similar initiatives to bring benefits to the UK economy ready for leaving the EU?

Robin Walker Portrait Mr Walker
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My hon. Friend is absolutely right to champion the aviation routes from her constituency, and of course the UK, as a global nation, will continue to want to trade with both Europe and the wider world. Having strong aviation links and liberal access for aviation will be an important part of that.

European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill

Mims Davies Excerpts
3rd reading: House of Commons & Committee: 3rd sitting: House of Commons & Report stage: House of Commons
Wednesday 8th February 2017

(7 years, 3 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017 View all European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017 Debates Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts Amendment Paper: Committee of the whole House Amendments as at 8 February 2017 - (8 Feb 2017)
Jess Phillips Portrait Jess Phillips
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Absolutely. My hon. Friend makes a very good point, unfortunately. The thing that we might get, as the leave campaign said, is a squashing of workers’ rights; the thing that we will not get is £350 million going into the NHS. If only there was a level of consistency in what we have been promised.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
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I have always enjoyed working on the Women and Equalities Committee, which has been incredibly harmonious, listening to both men’s and women’s voices. I understand the spirit of new clause 100, but I find it faintly objectionable—I know who I am addressing this to in using that phraseology—to criticise our Prime Minister in talking about women’s rights and equalities, because she has led the way on tackling female genital mutilation, making sure that workers in particular areas have better life chances, and tackling coercive control. May I implore the hon. Lady to believe that Conservative Members, particularly our Prime Minister, do believe in the rights of those both male and female?

Jess Phillips Portrait Jess Phillips
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I have absolutely no doubt that some Conservative Members care about women’s rights, but I have lots of evidence to suggest that some absolutely do not, and need, frankly, a good, strong talking to by our Prime Minister. It is because I know how committed the Prime Minister has been to dealing with issues of violence against women like FGM, and cross-border issues to do with FGM, that I cannot understand why she would whip her party not to vote for this.

When Ministers are at the negotiating table thinking about the competitiveness of the UK economy, what will be high on their list? Will it be how to ensure that we protect and enhance workers’ rights or women’s rights—I think we can see the answer on the Government Front Bench—or will it be to undercut our EU neighbours by becoming a low-regulation, low-tax economy? The esteemed High Court justice Dame Laura Cox has said:

“Some of the basic rights that we now take for granted—pregnancy and maternity rights, part-time workers’ rights, equal pay for work of equal value—are all at risk if the UK becomes a low regulation economy.”

Is that the true destination of these negotiations? Can the Minister give us an assurance that powers in the great—or otherwise—repeal Bill will not be used to remove any equality and employment rights at a later date? Will the rights of part-time workers, pregnant women at work and women fighting for equal pay really be safe with them, whatever happens?

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Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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It is a great pleasure to speak in this Committee of the whole House on the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill. I fully support the Government as they enact the will of the people shown in the European Union referendum, and welcome the White Paper.

Taking them at face value, I agree with some of the new clauses; they look benign and fairly honourable. The problem is that it is illogical to try to muddle the negotiations into the middle of this withdrawal Bill as if it were a Christmas tree Bill. I shall speak briefly about some of my constituents’ concerns, and set out my own view on new clause 2. I will not be supporting it because although it seems agreeable and benign, it does not mention migration. The Prime Minister spoke today about the priority she will place on the UK’s need for highly skilled workers from the EU throughout the negotiation process. The new clause fails to deal with that.

Anyone who has been part of any negotiation, particularly in the private sector, will be only too aware of the importance of not having our hands tied behind our back as we go into the process. Revealing our complete negotiation strategy at the start seems somewhat absurd. The aim of the Opposition’s new clause is simply to fudge the issues by suggesting that they care more about the negotiating principles than the Government do. The Prime Minister laid out guiding principles in her Lancaster House speech. My constituents on both sides of the referendum debate appreciated that speech and welcomed those principles. Many people are simply asking us politicians to get on with it.

I welcome all the contributions from speakers across the Committee over the past few days. The debate has been fascinating, and it has been important to be a part of it. Inevitably, the fine details will be part of the key negotiations to enact the will of the people in the coming months and years. Local businesses have spoken to me about the need to move forward. They are having to make key decisions about their staffing and arrangements, and wish that politicians would do exactly the same.

One of the issues I have found most surprising during the Committee stage is the attempt by some to suggest that various leave campaigns’ proposals were some kind of direct manifesto that the Government ought to follow to the letter. The Government are seeking to enact the will of the people, and to negotiate a strong and appropriate deal. We are in a post-referendum phase, but despite having been in Committee over the past few days—it feels like weeks—it appears that that is something the Liberal Democrats are gleefully unaware of. These are likely to be the most complex negotiations that the country will ever enter into, and the effects will be far ranging. Free trade treaties have been referred to a great deal, with separate sectors needing separate discussions and focus points. It is absolutely right that they should be separate from the Bill.

Taking anything but the smartest approach to this issue would be letting down our constituents, so I will not be supporting these weak attempts to dilute the Bill. Instead, I will be putting my trust in the Prime Minister and the work she will do in the national interest. As I said earlier, I find it objectionable that new clause 100 suggests that the Prime Minister and Government Members would somehow put women’s rights back because of this Bill—our Prime Minister, who did so much on this issue as Home Secretary, when she was committed to working against FGM, dealing with coercive control and fighting the gender pay gap. It is absolutely wrong to say that, in areas such as women trafficking, the Government and the Prime Minister will somehow just roll over and that these issues will not be a highlight of what we seek to achieve in leaving the EU.

Many of my constituents have rightly asked me about the rights of EU citizens working in this country. I totally agree with the right hon. Member for Don Valley (Caroline Flint) about the tone of the debate on this: it is very frightening and nerve-racking for constituents, and we are keen to protect all our constituents. No one in this Chamber is in any doubt about the huge contribution that EU citizens make to our economy, our society, our culture, our tourism industry and our national life, but in planning for free movement, issues around homes, doctors and pressures on NHS services have been very difficult to manage.

I was reminded at the recent local enterprise partnership conference that EU students make a positive contribution to my area, and particularly in Eastleigh as they come and go through Southampton airport. However, I would expect this House to have the same view of the contribution that our citizens make in other EU countries, so we need to make sure that we take a balanced approach.

All Members of this House do great casework in their constituencies. Often, we are dealing with international and EU citizens with immigration and homelessness issues, which are complicated and difficult. I therefore do not understand why there is a feeling that Conservative Members are somehow going to forget the work they do for people who may be married intercontinentally and who may have issues we need to resolve. In some cases, I have helped to get passports so that members of families can go to funerals, and I have helped with other issues that people needed help with. Ultimately, these people have complicated and difficult lives too.

In terms of the Bill, I believe we all understand that we need a mutual recognition of the work UK citizens do abroad and the work EU citizens do here. We also need recognition of all that Members of Parliament do to help to resolve the issues that affect all our communities. I do not believe that that will somehow change because of this Bill and that we will forget what we have to do for our constituents.

The Prime Minister was very clear today at Prime Minister’s questions about her intention at a priority first stage to look after all our citizens at home and abroad. I fully support her in the work she does, and I believe we will eventually get a deal that is right for the UK—a UK that is open and strong and that looks to the future. I will support the Bill, and I go back to my previous point: it is a notification of withdrawal—it is not about negotiations.

Baroness Hayman of Ullock Portrait Sue Hayman
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I would like to speak to new clause 192, to which I have added my name, about Euratom. A number of Conservative Members have spoken with great knowledge about the nuclear industry today, and as chair of the all-party group on nuclear energy I invite them all to join us and to come to our meetings to share their knowledge.

The nuclear industry is critical to my constituency in west Cumbria. Because of that, I have probably had an unusual inbox compared with most hon. Members, in that I have had a large number of direct emails from concerned constituents about the proposed withdrawal from the Euratom treaty. Those constituents are particularly concerned because of the significant negative impact that withdrawal could have on the nuclear industry in the UK. They believe it unnecessary and ill-considered, and are concerned that it will create great disruption in the nuclear industry at a time when we really need to be pressing forward with our nuclear new build programme.

Euratom has had a significant role in establishing its members’ credibility and acceptability in the wider global nuclear community. A constituent has contacted me to say that he believes that exiting will have a significant impact on the cost and the duration of decommissioning, which is of course very important in west Cumbria because of Sellafield. They also believe that the nuclear new build programme at Moorside will be impacted. EDF Energy, which is building the Hinkley Point C project, has said that it believes that ideally the UK should stay in the treaty, as it provides a framework for complying with international standards for handling nuclear materials.

On the issue of safety and materials, another constituent, who worked for very many years as a radiation protection adviser, has been in touch to share his concerns. He has wide experience of applying regulatory controls in workplaces including hospitals, the oil and gas industry, paper and plastics manufacturing, radiography, and the nuclear industry. He says that every one of these is considerably safer today as a result of Euratom—so this is not just about the nuclear industry directly. He goes on to say that he believes it is extremely short-sighted to remove the wealth of information and expertise that has resulted from our membership of Euratom.

European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill

Mims Davies Excerpts
Amanda Solloway Portrait Amanda Solloway (Derby North) (Con)
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It is a great honour to speak in this historic debate. On 23 June we saw 52% of the United Kingdom, and 57% of Derby, vote for the UK to leave the European Union. In Derby, voter turnout was 70%, almost double that for our local elections, with 18,000 more people voting to leave than to remain.

I deliberated for a long time over my decision, and I spent time listening to both sides of the argument. I could see strong reasons to leave and to remain. I started veering towards leave, but I finally decided that remain, in my opinion, would be best for the country. I campaigned hard for us to stay in the EU.

While I was out campaigning, people came to me with clear messages. They said that they wanted to clamp down on immigration and how this was an opportunity to stand on our own and make our own decisions. On the other side, there was uncertainty about the country’s future outside the EU and about the long-term implications and potential consequences. The decision will shape this country for generations, and it is one that we must respect. We must ensure that it becomes a reality, and we must look forward so that future generations benefit from this opportunity. It is now the time to look for the opportunities Brexit can bring to our country. Of course that will be challenging, but the Government are already working hard to create new avenues of trade and investment with new friends and partners, inside and outside Europe. Since the referendum, I have been talking to a wide range of people and businesses in my constituency, and they tell me they are now looking forward to the opportunity that Brexit brings. There is a feeling of optimism about ensuring that small, medium-sized and large businesses thrive after we leave, while of course there is an acknowledgement of the complexity of the negotiations.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
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My hon. Friend the Member for North Cornwall (Scott Mann) spoke about eyes being wide open and looking to the sunny uplands. Does my hon. Friend the Member for Derby North (Amanda Solloway) agree with the many constituents who have written to me to say that they knew what they were doing, they saw both sides of the argument and we should now be looking forward, just as my hon. Friend the Member for North Cornwall said?

Amanda Solloway Portrait Amanda Solloway
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Absolutely. As my hon. Friend said, people did know what they were doing, and it is clear that in my constituency people are looking for opportunities and the way forward. I am excited by the prospect that lies before us, as I believe we have a genuine opportunity to forge new trade deals and new relationships, and make this great country even greater, taking us forward proudly and successfully. The great repeal Bill will be the starting point for us to look at legislation. I am confident that this Government will, as they must, safeguard and indeed enhance employee and human rights, holding dear the British values that we all share. We should of course be mindful that we are not leaving Europe; we are leaving the EU.

As I mentioned, 57% of those who voted in Derby voted to leave, and we now have a responsibility to negotiate the very best deal, not only for the people of Derby but for the people of this country as a whole. Democracy is about listening to the people. As my hon. Friend the Member for Sleaford and North Hykeham (Dr Johnson) said in her excellent maiden speech, this was not a request—it was an instruction. This should therefore be a time for us to come together and not be divided on this decision. Our duty is to the public we represent, which is why I shall be supporting the Bill.

European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill

Mims Davies Excerpts
Tuesday 31st January 2017

(7 years, 3 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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David Burrowes Portrait Mr David Burrowes (Enfield, Southgate) (Con)
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It is a pleasure to follow the hon. Member for Ilford North (Wes Streeting), whose speech was, as ever, impressive, principled and considered.

Today’s debate is to my mind about a straightforward decision that will mean that our country embarks on a necessary but inevitably complex journey to leave the European Union. As has been mentioned, this legislation is about the process. It is not a substantive Bill about the merits or otherwise of leaving the European Union—that was for the referendum debates—and nor is it about the future deal that will come later in future legislation. It can be summed up in a few words, such as “respect the will of the people” and “respect the result of the referendum”. However, I have a good reason for adding a few more words during today’s debate.

I represent a constituency and borough that voted heavily to remain in the European Union. In Enfield, 76,000 people voted to remain, while 60,000 voted to leave. In my constituency only 37% voted to leave while 63% voted to remain. Among Brexiteers, I have the largest percentage of remain voters; after the Richmond Park by-election, The Daily Telegraph helpfully pointed out that I could be next in the firing line, although I will be avoiding a by-election if I can help it.

Inevitably, I have received many representations from constituents urging me to vote against the Bill and follow the example of Members such as the right hon. Member for East Ham (Stephen Timms): to do what the majority of their constituents voted to do and to follow their consciences. However, it will be no surprise that I will not be following that course. I want to explain why and to urge hon. Members, particularly those representing remain-voting constituencies, to join me in the Aye Lobby tomorrow evening.

It should not surprise my constituents that I support the Bill. In 2015, following up our manifesto commitment to hold a referendum, I made it clear that unless we controlled our borders I would be campaigning to leave the European Union. When the then Prime Minister returned with his deal, he was unable properly to answer my questions in the House such as how he could reconcile the inadequate controls on freedom of movement in the deal with my expectations and those of countless party workers and supporters over a number of years. Emblazoned on our leaflets was our party’s commitment to control our borders. We need to follow through on that commitment.

Brexit gives us the opportunity to regain control of our borders—not in the way President Trump is pursuing, which is a thinly veiled attempt to discriminate against Muslims and involves offensive nationality profiling, which must be strongly condemned at all levels. I look forward to control of our borders that is more, not less, welcoming of the skills that we most need in our country, and more, not less, welcoming of the refugees who need our sanctuary most. Of course, I also look forward to Parliament’s regaining control of our laws and our money as well.

The wider concern of my constituents was that politicians should do what they say. I am doing what I said I would do: I am voting out of a matter of conscience, judgment and duty to trigger article 50. My vote is not just about my constituency; it is about what Parliament intended in the UK referendum. The European Union Referendum Act 2015 gave us the legal authority for the historic referendum result. The intention of Parliament was undeniably that the result should be respected and enacted; the majority in favour of the Bill was huge, at 10 to one. During deliberations on the referendum Bill, the issue was about ensuring that the campaign was fair to enable confidence in the result. There were a few concerns that the referendum was unclear or unfair. It was mainly left to the Brexiteers and, indeed, the Scottish National party to lead the scrutiny to ensure that the purdah period was not misused. However, the leaflet, costing £9 million of taxpayers’ money, was still sent out to convince the public of the merits of remaining in the European Union. The most important words on that leaflet were:

“This is your decision. The Government will implement what you decide.”

During the deliberations on the European Union Referendum Act, few really questioned the legitimacy or finality of the decision. We knew what we were getting ourselves into, providing an act of direct democracy to the British people to make a decision on the important question of European Union membership. It is important to recognise that that view came from all sources and many parties in the House. The leader of the Liberal Democrats, the hon. Member for Westmorland and Lonsdale (Tim Farron), said at the time that it was a once-in-a-lifetime decision—no word of a second referendum from him then.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
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The hon. Member for Westmorland and Lonsdale (Tim Farron), who is not in place, also said on the BBC last year that this House

“is a place of great pomposity, a lot of wasted words”,

and that it is “more theatre” than it is any good. Does my hon. Friend agree that this House and the express will of the British people deserve better than haughty disdain from the Liberals?

Natascha Engel Portrait Madam Deputy Speaker (Natascha Engel)
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Order. As there are many interventions, they need to be short.

Article 50

Mims Davies Excerpts
Tuesday 24th January 2017

(7 years, 3 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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David Davis Portrait Mr Davis
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I will say two things. First, Andy Haldane, the deputy governor of the Bank of England, has talked about a Michael Fish moment for economic forecasters. The hon. Gentleman might deliberate on that the next time he wants to ask a question like this. Secondly, economic models and forecasts are only as good as the assumptions that go into them. The point that the Prime Minister made last week was not just that we would not be a member of the single market, but that we would seek the freest and most barrier-free access in the interests of the people of Wales and others. That is what we will seek, but the negotiation is not complete yet. That is our aim and if we succeed, it will be hugely valuable for the people of Wales.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
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The EU referendum saw a 72% turnout and a clear vote to leave the European Union, showing the strongly held will of the British people. Does my right hon. Friend agree that the Liberal Democrats’ call for a second referendum—one Liberal Democrat Member was here today, but he is not here now—shows that they do not care about the public’s view unless they get their way?

David Davis Portrait Mr Davis
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Looking across the Chamber, I am tempted to ask, “What Liberal Democrats?”. As my hon. Friend said, there was only one of them here, which shows just how seriously they take this incredibly important issue. I think the public at large will take the view that the Liberal Democrats are trying to use this matter for their own political purposes, not for the national interest.