Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:35 am on 17th September 2015.

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Photo of Chris Grayling Chris Grayling Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 10:35 am, 17th September 2015

I understand my hon. Friend’s concerns, but I remind him that at the moment we have not even got Royal Assent for the European Union Referendum Bill, although I am confident that we will secure it. If the country does vote to leave the European Union, a process will take place beyond that. I understand his concerns; they are shared by many Members of the House. He knows my view, which is that we need a massive change in our relationship with the EU and that maintaining the status quo is simply not an option. However, the renegotiation process is of paramount importance and the Prime Minister has been absolutely right to embark on it. He was also absolutely right to promise a referendum offering a choice between a new kind of relationship with the EU and leaving it, rather than maintaining the status quo, which I firmly believe is not in the national interest.