On Monday 11 September 2017 Valerie Vaz MP voted against the EU Withdrawal Bill, and led the opposition debate on Tuesday 12 September 2017 against the Government’s motion on the nomination of Members to Committees.

Valerie Vaz MP said:

“The Government has carried out a series of unprecedented power grabs. The EU Withdrawal Bill passed its Second Reading in the House of Commons despite it containing a number of Henry VIII powers placing huge and accountable power in the hand of Government Ministers.”

“HM Opposition Labour Party’s position that we are leaving the EU is settled, the way we leave is not. We opposed the Bill because it is fatally flawed. It side-lines Parliament on key decisions and puts crucial rights and protections at risk.”

“The following day, the Government carried out yet another power grab. The Leader of the House put forward a motion on the nomination of Members to Committees to allow the new Selection Committee to give the Government a majority on any Public Bill Committees.”

“These are the committees that will scrutinise the Bills and secondary legislation. As Shadow leader I led the opposition debate against these proposals. These Committees are where the British people expect us to reflect the views of our constituents, business, science and to protect our fundamental rights.”

“This is a Minority Government. They did not get a mandate. The British people gave us their verdict. The Rules of the House make it clear that Committee membership should reflect the “composition of the House” and not the Government giving itself a majority.”

“The motion was based on neither precedent and Standing Orders, nor on the constitution or democracy. It is not necessary and there was no explanation for it. This is a Government by convention, not majority.”

“This is not about the smooth running of business or allowing proper scrutiny, nor is it about wanting to abide by the democratic result of the election. It is a blatant power grab to stifle debate.”

“The Government has grabbed from Parliament powers to which it is not entitled, and has made it clear that it is not the party of democracy.”