My update on Brexit.

Tuesday 22 October:

The Government has introduced the European Union (Withdrawal Bill), and you can find a copy of the Bill and the explanatory notes here.  You can also find a list of the amendments here.  There are parts that are more digestible than others.

The House of Commons needs to make progress to resolve the current impasse.  We cannot leave people with this continued uncertainty, especially those running businesses.  I have huge reservations about this Bill.  This includes the situation we may face at the end of the implementation period in December 2020.  I also have serious concerns about the repercussions for Northern Ireland in the future.

Parliamentary procedure is complex, and this often means MPs have to consider long-term outcomes when voting, rather than focusing only on what might be the immediate matter to hand.  I will support the Bill at 2nd Reading because I feel we need to open the door to proper debate.  I share many of the concerns about the Programme Motion and I quite agree that it does not allow sufficient time for scrutiny.  However, until the Bill has passed 2nd Reading, proper debate cannot start.  The Bill has several further stages to pass through in Parliament in both the Commons and the Lords – so I will keep you updated.

There are lots of MPs working behind the scenes to try and persuade the Government to make changes and if this is unsuccessful further amendments from backbenchers will be tabled.

These are immensely tricky, and often confusing, times in Parliament.  There will be further votes this week and I will do my best to keep you updated as events unfold.