European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:51 pm on 29th January 2019.

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Photo of Theresa May Theresa May The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 1:51 pm, 29th January 2019

I beg to move,

That this House, in accordance with the provisions of section 13(6)(a) and 13(11)(b)(i) and 13(13)(b) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, has considered the Written Statement titled “Statement under Section 13(4) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018”
and made on 21 January 2019, and the Written Statement titled “Statement under Section 13(11)(a) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018”and made on 24 January 2019.

Over the past few weeks, this House has left no one in any doubt about what it does not want. It does not want to leave the EU without a deal, because that would hurt our economy and disrupt people’s lives. It does not want to hold a general election, because it would waste time, increase division and solve none of the problems we face. Indeed, this House renewed its confidence in Her Majesty’s Government a fortnight ago. Neither do I see anything approaching a majority across the House to hold a second referendum. Indeed, the leaders of the so-called “People’s Vote” campaign obviously agree with me, because they declined even to table an amendment to put that into effect. I also accept, however, that this House does not want the deal I put before it in the form it currently exists. The vote was decisive, and I listened.

The world knows what this House does not want. Today, we need to send an emphatic message about what we do want. I believe that that must include honouring the votes of our fellow citizens and completing the democratic process that began when this House voted overwhelmingly to hold the referendum and then voted to trigger article 50 and which saw the vast majority of us elected on manifestos pledging to see Brexit through.