As you will be aware I campaigned for Remain in the EU Referendum. I believed that membership of the European Union was the best way to tackle the major issues facing the modern world, particularly with regard to our environment, the fight against climate change, and matters of international security such as terrorism.
I am, however, a democrat. In the referendum, millions of people voted to leave the EU. The EU (Withdrawal) Bill ensures that the UK does this in the smoothest possible way and this is why I support it. This Bill is not about whether we leave the EU or about the terms of our exit.
The Bill honours the referendum result and provides certainty for businesses. It repeals the European Communities Act 1972, which gives effect to EU law in the UK, and converts all EU law into UK law. It also provides ministers in the UK Government and in the devolved administrations with temporary powers to make corrections to the law. Without it there would be holes in our legal system and chaos for the British people.
The Prime Minister has promised that Parliament will have a say over the final withdrawal deal but it is not within the Government's power to unilaterally extend the negotiation period for further discussions. EU law is clear that the UK will leave the EU in March 2019 whether or not a withdrawal agreement is reached. By voting for this Bill, the UK will leave the EU in a smooth and orderly way. Voting against the Bill would create chaos and uncertainty.