The main constitutional functions of this House are to choose and sustain the Government and to legislate. Since this Parliament seems incapable of doing either, is not the correct constitutional way forward a general election so that voters can decide between a Conservative Government to deliver on the Brexit referendum or one of the Opposition parties to overturn it?

What assessment has my right hon. Friend made of ferry and port capacity in the UK, and in EU ports, for transporting goods to and from the UK after we leave the European Union?

The New Government

Summer’s here and I am using the time away from Westminster to take my pull-up banner for my “Summer Tour” of High Streets and shopping areas around Dudley South, chatting to shoppers and listening to their views and concerns. 

Mike Wood: Will the Attorney General confirm that, with or without a deal, British citizens will still be able to assert their fundamental rights through the British courts after Britain has left the European Union?


Geoffrey Cox The Attorney-General

Of course, the United Kingdom, in all its jurisdictions, has one of the strongest records for the rule of law in the world. I have no doubt that that will continue.

Mike Wood: My right hon. Friend is aware of my view of a lengthy extension, but the extension period that she has negotiated ends if an agreement is ratified. What guarantees has she secured that the European Parliament will ratify any agreement in a timely manner without unnecessary delay?


Theresa May The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

Mike Wood: Can the Minister confirm that, notwithstanding last night’s agreement, the Article 50 period will only be extended if the House votes for a statutory instrument to give effect to such an extension?


Kwasi Kwarteng The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

My hon. Friend is quite right. The Government would have to lay a statutory instrument and the House would have to debate and vote on it.

Peter Grant Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Europe), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union)

I am grateful for the chance to speak in this debate, and I commend Keir Starmer for having secured it.

Mike Wood: My right hon. Friend will not be surprised to hear that I will not support the motion this evening. What message does he think it would send to those we represent if, nearly three years after voting to leave the European Union, we held elections to the European Parliament?


David Lidington Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Minister of State (Cabinet Office)

Mike Wood: The Shadow Minister puts a lot of store in comments made by various House of Lords Sub-Committees on this statutory instrument. Will he tell us whether the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments raised any objections to it?


Imran Hussain Shadow Minister (Justice)

Mike Wood: Like my right hon. Friend, I strongly support these proposals. To support the immediate point he is making, two years ago today is the day that I went into hospital, and as some Members know, I was in a coma for 11 days, during which time I missed the Second Reading of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, which attracted the kind of criticism that

I had planned to support amendment (q) this evening, because the safeguards sought on the backstop are necessary and supported by a substantial number of Members. However, I shall now be voting for the similar amendment (f), which was tabled by my hon. Friend

Mike Wood: Which part of the financial settlement under the proposed withdrawal agreement would be payable during the implementation period and during any backstop?


Theresa May The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

The financial settlement has a trajectory in terms of payment, some of which would be beyond the periods to which my hon. Friend refers. There is no specific financial obligation in relation to the backstop, should that backstop come into play.

Mike Wood: To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what steps the Government has taken to cooperate with other EU states on those countries' preparations for the UK leaving the EU without a deal.


Chris Heaton-Harris (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union)

Mike Wood: I welcome the more positive language coming out of Brussels over the weekend, but does my right hon. Friend agree that, although warm words are all very well, it is time the EU matched that language with actual movement if we are to reach a mutually beneficial deal this autumn?


Dominic Raab The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

Mike Wood: The Secretary of State rightly says that the proposals have been put forward in a spirit of compromise. Is he confident that there is nothing in the proposals for a mobility framework that would restrict our ability to take back control of our borders?


Dominic Raab The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

Mike Wood: What safeguards can be put in place to make sure that the provisions to save parts of the European Communities Act cannot be extended beyond the agreed implementation period?


Dominic Raab The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

Mike Wood: Is my hon. Friend familiar with the PwC analysis that suggests that the UK could be the fastest growing economy in the G7 between Brexit and 2050?


Steven Baker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

I am extremely grateful to my hon. Friend for pointing that out.

Mike Wood: Mr MacIntyre-Kemp, you spoke about your concern that the Bill is not clear on the Government’s powers to conclude trade deals, and you talked about chlorinated chicken from the United States. I just want to check that you understand that the Bill is perfectly clear that it would not give any powers to the Government to conclude any trade deal with the United States, regardless of whether it included any type of chicken.


Mike Wood: I thank the hon. Gentleman for giving way and for treating us to the shorter version of his speech. Does he welcome the communiqué signed by the Government and the territories, which said that the UK acknowledged

“the importance of EU funding for sustainable economic development in some Overseas Territories and committed to ensuring that these interests were fully reflected in the UK’s negotiating position”?

Mike Wood: While we recognise that Britain will respect any liabilities that are properly owed, will the Prime Minister reassure my constituents that the United Kingdom will not be making payments that are not paid by countries remaining in the European Union, so that there can be no question of punishment payments?


John Penrose The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office


Mike Wood: Will the Secretary of State confirm that, in the negotiations, the Government still aim to conclude an agreement on an implementation phase as early as possible in the new year and that that agreement would similarly benefit the European Union?


David Davis The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

Yes, my hon. Friend is exactly right on both counts.

Mike Wood: Although these analyses do not contain sectoral impact assessments, they may contain sensitive and confidential information, so will the Minister engage with the Chairman of the Select Committee to ensure that the information in these reports is handled appropriately with the public and the Committee?


Steven Baker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

Mike Wood: The hon. Lady’s position seems to be that there is legal uncertainty about whether it is necessary for the UK to leave Euratom and that we should have left the issue until further in the negotiations, finding out whether we were leaving later on in the process. Would that not have just left rather less time to prepare if we did have to leave?


Rebecca Long-Bailey Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

Mike Wood: It has been suggested that, as we negotiate our exit from the European Union, the United Kingdom should abstain in decisions in the Council. Will the Minister explain what the impact of a British abstention would be on those decisions?


Margot James Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)