20 March 2019
Andrew Bridgen questions the Government about the role of the Brexit Joint Committee

Andrew Bridgen questions the Government about the role of the Joint Committee outlined in the Brexit withdrawal agreement, in particular where the committee will make legal rulings in unforeseen circumstances whether it is the committee itself that decides what is unforeseen?

Andrew Bridgen (North West Leicestershire) (Con)

May I press my hon. Friend the Minister further on his earlier answer to my right hon. Friend the Member for Chingford and Woodford Green (Mr Duncan Smith)? The Joint Committee will make legal decisions in unforeseen circumstances. [Interruption.] Can he confirm that the Joint Committee will itself decide what circumstances are unforeseen? [Interruption.]

Kwasi Kwarteng

Once again I have to say that I think all my colleagues, all my right hon. and hon. Friends, have very full confidence in our civil service. With regard to my hon. Friend’s question, yes, the Joint Committee will decide, and will have a view on what circumstances are foreseen or unforeseen, but I have to address this point: the Joint Committee’s purpose is not to hoodwink or in any way subvert what we do as a democracy in this House. It is the Government’s full intention to engage extremely attentively to opinion in this House.