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Standing Order No. 143

Volume 616: debated on Thursday 27 October 2016

1. Whether he has had discussions with his ministerial colleagues on the scope of Standing Order No. 143(1)(ii) and 143(1)(vi). (906842)

I have had no such discussions to date, but while we are a member of the European Union, our obligations remain in place, as does the scrutiny reserve resolution, so the scrutiny Committees will be able to examine and interrogate EU dossiers in the usual way.

Does the Leader of the House agree with the hon. Member for North East Somerset (Mr Rees-Mogg) that the document to trigger article 50 is one that the European Scrutiny Committee would recommend for debate and possible vote in the main Chamber? If he does, would that be before or after the Prime Minister has served the notification?

As the hon. Lady knows, the Government take the view that the triggering of article 50 is a matter for the Executive to determine. This, as the House knows, is an issue that is being contested in the courts at the moment, and we are currently awaiting a judgment.

I applaud the initiatives that the Leader of the House is taking to ensure maximum debate about Brexit and the establishment of the Select Committees. Will he ensure that there are no procedures of this House that could block the will of the British people to leave the European Union?

The Government’s intention, whatever side of the referendum debate individual Ministers took, is that the will of the British people has been clearly expressed in a referendum with a very high turnout, and that the House voted by an overwhelming majority to enact the European Union Referendum Bill and hand that decision to the British people. That mandate from the British people now needs to be respected.