Video resurfaces of Iain Duncan Smith trying to stop MPs scrutinising Brexit agreement he now wants rewritten
- Credit: Archant
Footage has resurfaced of a Tory Brexiteer praising Boris Johnson's Withdrawal Agreement bill and trying to prevent MPs from scrutinising the document - days after calling for it to be rewritten.
Iain Duncan Smith (IDS) provoked a stir this week when he suggested 'fine print' in the Withdrawal Agreement - which sets out the UK's departure from the EU - had tied Britain into £160 million in unpaid loan repayments.
In a series of Twitter posts, he claimed the divorce deal 'denies' Britain 'true national independence' and that it 'has to go'.
'Whilst the UK wants to have a good trade relationship with the EU as a sovereign state, the EU has different ideas,' he ranted. 'They want our money and they want to stop us being a competitor. The Withdrawal Agreement (WA) we signed last year sadly helps them.'
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He complained that a clause 'buried in fine print' meant Britons 'remain hooked' into the EU's loan book, the very agreement that he not only voted for but also he denied MPs more time to debate in parliament.
In an embarrassing moment for the former Tory leader, a video of that a debate back in October has resurfaced and it shows him advocating against further scrutiny of deal.
'At Maastrict, we didn't have programme motions,' he told a packed chamber. 'Some people might recall around here that we had to have 100 hours in committee before we could actually get a limit.'
'Sometimes I wonder if that wouldn't be a good thing, but not tonight, it has to be said,' he said jokingly.
He continued: 'We've had more than 100 hours in committee over the last 3 and a half years.
'If there is anything about this arrangement [the Withdrawal Agreement Bill] that we have not now debated, thrashed to death, I would love to know what it is.
'For those who say they don't have enough time over the next few days because there are so many things to debate, of course they forget there was a white paper published last year that contained, I think sadly, most of the elements of the Withdrawal Agreement within it!'
The EU has said it has no intention of reopening the deal .
In response to IDS' comments, European Commission spokesman Eric Mamer said: 'What we can say is that the Withdrawal Agreement stands, that in it the United Kingdom has taken a certain number of perfectly reasonable commitments related to the time when it was still a member of the European Union relating to its share of liabilities on loans given out by the EIB, and we have nothing further to comment on this.'
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