Exiting the European Union: Meaningful Vote

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:06 pm on 11th December 2018.

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Photo of Jeremy Corbyn Jeremy Corbyn Leader of Her Majesty's Official Opposition, Leader of the Labour Party 2:06 pm, 11th December 2018

The Prime Minister cancelled the Cabinet meeting this morning—presumably she is worried about whether she has a majority there or not—and apparently many of her Ministers are very upset. I cannot say I blame them. At least a dozen were sent into TV and radio stations yesterday morning to deny the Prime Minister would pull the vote, before somebody helpfully phoned from Downing Street to pull them out of the studios to say the line had changed. That is an extraordinary way of not running a Government. The Northern Ireland Secretary was quoted as saying that the UK must move on with Brexit or risk being riven with division, shortly before the Prime Minister decided not to move on with Brexit. This is the same Prime Minister who said hers was the best deal and the only deal. If that is the case, what is she doing today in Europe?

This runaway Prime Minister is not even seeking to negotiate. She confirmed that she is only seeking reassurances. Our Prime Minister is traipsing around the continent in pursuit and search of warm words—when she can get out of the car to hear them. It really is, if I may say so, Mr Speaker, the unspeakable in pursuit of the unwritten—a waste of time and a waste of public money. Because of her own unworkable red lines, the European Commission says it will not renegotiate with her. The Prime Minister also concedes that she is not negotiating either, so what on earth is she doing travelling from capital to capital in Europe? I am sure it cannot be Christmas shopping, so what on earth is she doing in Europe? Worse than that, it shows that once again she is simply not listening.