Today I called on the Minister to set up a special parliamentary Committee to bring a cross-party approach to dealing with Brexit.
Stephen Kinnock (Aberavon): The referendum has been a deeply divisive process that has divided city against town, community against community and nation against nation.
Does the Minister agree that we now need a cross-party approach to deal with when to invoke article 50 and the basic negotiating position around that, and how we hold the negotiating team to account? Will he consider setting up a special parliamentary Committee to do both those jobs?
John Penrose: The current Prime Minister has said that he believes it is very important not just for the UK Government to contribute, but for the devolved Governments—and, wherever possible, other parties on a cross-party basis—to contribute so that we can, whenever possible, speak as a nation with one voice. The hon. Gentleman is right to say the referendum was a pretty divisive affair. It is not just political parties that need to knit together again; society needs to knit together again. I am not sure that I would necessarily share the hon. Gentleman’s enthusiasm for a parliamentary Committee as the solution to achieve that, but I share his conviction that a degree of healing is required, and that all of us on both sides of the House have a duty to ensure that our respective parties and the communities that we represent are able to come together for the good of the country.