EU Withdrawal Agreement

Part of Bill Presented – in the House of Commons at 4:11 pm on 18th December 2018.

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Photo of Will Quince Will Quince Conservative, Colchester 4:11 pm, 18th December 2018

I thank my hon. Friend for that intervention and bow to his knowledge of the political situation in Scotland.

Let me turn back to Labour. We get a different answer depending on which shadow Secretary of State is asked. I thought, perhaps naively, that the Labour party was against outsourcing, but it is absolutely clear that over the course of the past week Labour has outsourced all its opposition to the Scottish National party and is almost not even bothering. The dilly dallying over the confidence motion yesterday—what on earth was going on? The only thing in which we can have confidence is that the Labour party has absolutely no ability to offer effective opposition. Yesterday was like the no-confidence hokey cokey—it was verging on ridiculous. This House desperately needs far less political opportunism and far more honesty. At least we know where the SNP is coming from: it does not want Brexit to happen. What is the Labour party’s position, other than wanting a general election?

Let me conclude, because I am conscious that I have only 30 seconds left. I am entirely pragmatic on this issue. I still want to support the EU withdrawal agreement and I very much hope to. Now that the Prime Minister has entered into these vital renegotiations on the backstop, she deserves our support. We need to send a clear message to the European Union that we stand behind her in seeking those concessions, particularly on the backstop. We have to stop playing politics with this issue and get behind her. I for one look forward to supporting the Prime Minister when she brings back concessions on the backstop in January.