You can read 19 more articles this month
CHAOS gripped the Commons today when new Brexit Secretary Dominc Raab’s introduction of the white paper on leaving the EU had to be suspended for five minutes because copies hadn’t been given to MPs.
Speaker John Bercow suggested three times that he give them permission to leave the chamber to obtain them.
He said: “Were he not to do so, I think that the consequence in terms of Chamber unhappiness would become that much more stark.”
Mr Raab stated that the document was available online before finally conceding that MPs could walk to the Vote Office to get hard copies.
MPs rushed back into the chamber with cardboard boxes of the white paper and had five minutes to read it before asking questions.
Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer asked why journalists were given a copy of the white paper at 9am and given 15 minutes to read it before questions while MPs only got it three hours later.
He said Mr Raab’s statement was only handed to him when the previous session of business questions was finished.
“That is in breach of the ministerial code,” he seethed. “It is deeply discourteous, and it is unacceptable.
“I did not miss much, but the serious point is this: the point of these statements is to allow questions to be asked of the Secretary of State, and by proceeding in this way, with this utter shambles, we are denied proper scrutiny of this white paper.”
The 98-page document sets out a free trade area in goods, new arrangements for services with autonomy for financial services, an end to free movement, with new “mobility” rules allowing visa-free travel for tourism and temporary work, and continued security co-operation, participation in Europol and a range of EU agencies.
It also includes a guarantee that Britain “is committed to membership of the European Convention on Human Rights.”
Lamiat Sabin is Morning Star Parliamentary Reporter
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.