Exiting the European Union: Meaningful Vote

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:24 pm on 11th December 2018.

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Photo of David Lidington David Lidington Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Minister of State (Cabinet Office) 2:24 pm, 11th December 2018

It is a fair question, and while I am not able to give the right hon. Gentleman an absolutely clear answer, I genuinely want to be as helpful as I can on this point. The default position is that the current arrangements, including the business of the House motion, remain in place. One of the things that the Government will have to determine, depending on the outcome of the European Council and the discussions that the Prime Minister is having, is whether, in the context of the statutory requirement for the Government to hold a meaningful vote under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act, any changes that may have been made are of a character that requires the debate to be started from scratch rather than continued. Until we know the outcome of those talks, it is impossible for me to provide greater clarity, but I hope the right hon. Gentleman will accept from me that that is the best answer I can give in trying to be straight with him.