Article 50

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:39 pm on 24th January 2017.

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Photo of David Davis David Davis The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 12:39 pm, 24th January 2017

The right hon. Lady, as ever, gets to the point of the matter. There are many reasons for triggering by the end of March. There are the rather obvious ones: the public want us to get on with it, and that includes remainers as well as leavers in terms of the original vote. There are practical reasons of business uncertainty: the longer we spin this out, the more difficult it is for businesses and workers in terms of their own futures. She is also right that it fits very neatly, as a sort of sweet spot, into delivering an outcome that is in our interests within the European timetable. The House should understand that there are roughly 15 elections between now and the end of the process, and then there is the European parliamentary election, which, if we get too close to it, could compromise the vote at the end. There is a whole series of reasons why the end of March is incredibly important. It is not an arbitrary date—it is designed to uphold the strength of the negotiations, so she is right on the nail.