Leaving the Eu: Meaningful Vote

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:05 pm on 22nd October 2018.

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Photo of Peter Grant Peter Grant Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Europe), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union) 4:05 pm, 22nd October 2018

I commend Mr Grieve not only for securing the urgent question but for the forensic way in which he has completely dismantled any credibility that the Government’s position may have had. I also endorse in their entirety the comments from the Opposition spokesman, Keir Starmer, about the appalling comments that have been directed against the Prime Minister. I disagree with the Prime Minister on a lot of things, but nobody should be issued with the kind of threats that she has been expected to cope with over the last few days.

Too much of the discussion is now about who will become the next Prime Minister. The long-term career prospects for the Prime Minister, or any of us, are infinitesimally trivial compared with what will be at stake if and when this Parliament gets a chance to do its job in a meaningful vote—that means not only a meaningful motion, but that we must be able to put forward and vote on meaningful amendments before the final decision is taken.

Will the Secretary of State confirm that meaningful amendments will be allowed and that Parliament will have the opportunity to meaningfully amend the motion before we are asked to agree the final deal? Given that we are getting hour-by-hour and minute-by-minute updates on the Government’s negotiations with a select 50 or so Members of Parliament, will he tell us when the Government intend to start seeking consensus across the 600 Members of this House who are not members of the Democratic Unionist party or the European Research Group?