MPs should be in control of parliament

A fortnight ago the House of Commons voted for the second reading of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.

The Constituency View with Henry Smith MP SUS-170126-103725001
The Constituency View with Henry Smith MP SUS-170126-103725001

If the Bill did not convert existing EU law into domestic law our statute book would contain significant gaps once we left the EU. Those who voted against the Bill did not offer an alternative that would provide us with a smoother exit.

However those who were previously happy for laws from Brussels to essentially be waved through now say they have concerns about parliamentary scrutiny. As a member of the European Scrutiny Committee for five years I saw at first hand the lack of accountability there was in this regard, which was a key factor in my decision to campaign and vote to leave the EU.

I recently sponsored a proposal in the Commons for further control of Parliament to go from the Government to MPs. The creation of a Business of the House Commission would see the scheduling of parliamentary business be decided by Parliament, and not the Government. A vote to take control of our democracy from the European Union was also a vote for wider strengthening of our elected legislative chamber.

Our EU membership prevents us making many of our own decisions. In the debate, and at a subsequent event in Parliament Square, I spoke in support of ending live animal exports from our country – possible when Brexit officially takes effect in 2019.

A further point I continue to pursue is on aviation. Gatwick continues to increase and improve its offer to passengers in terms of airline choice and available destinations. After the US, Britain is the world’s second aviation power, therefore, support for this sector in supporting international trade is imperative.