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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 Edward Leigh Edward Leigh Conservative, Gainsborough 4:05 pm, 22nd October 2018

The evidence given to the Procedure Committee last week was very clear. If there is no deal under section 13(4) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act, there will be a vote on a neutral motion. If there is a deal, there must be a meaningful vote under section 13(1). That motion is amendable, and amendments must be taken first, unless the Government produce their own business statement, and there has to be a vote on it. That is the procedure.

The important point to understand, however, is that deal or no deal, meaningful vote passed or not, can only affect the deal; it cannot affect the outcome of Brexit, because that is in statute. Only the Government can introduce legislation, so only the Government can stop Brexit on 29 March. Will the Secretary of State therefore give an unequivocal declaration to the House that in no circumstances—deal or no deal, deal rejected by the House or accepted—will Brexit not proceed on 29 March?