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.
Earlier this week, Smith laid out in a series of tweets the reasons that he thought the deal was a bad idea – and made it very clear that he thought there should be further scrutiny of the Brexit bill.
In his tweets, he said that the EU wants to UK to “stop being a competitor” and that the Withdrawal Agreement “sadly helps them.”
The Withdrawal Agreement, also known as the Brexit Bill, sets out the UK’s departure from the EU, and had several conditions (such as £160 million worth unpaid loan repayments from the UK to the EU). The transition period will end on the 31 December.
The EU has no intention of reopening the deal, and has made this clear several times. In response to Smith’s tweets, European Commission spokesman Eric Mamer said:
I think it’s very clear that we are not going to get into a debate with British politicians on liabilities or any other of the provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement.
The Withdrawal Agreement is there, it is now a firm document that has been accepted by both parties and it is the basis on which both sides are acting.
As others have pointed out, Smith also voted for the Brexit bill last year along with other Tory MPs. Perhaps if he thought there was a fundamental issue with the bill – to the tune of £160 billion in loan repayments – it would have been worth bringing up then.