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

No, I am going to explain. This amendment will give the mandate I need to negotiate with Brussels an arrangement that commands a majority in this House—one that ensures we leave with a deal and addresses the House’s concerns, while guaranteeing no return to the hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.

What I am talking about is not a further exchange of letters but a significant and legally binding change to the withdrawal agreement. Negotiating such a change will not be easy. It will involve reopening the withdrawal agreement—a move for which I know there is limited appetite among our European partners. But I believe that with a mandate from this House, and supported by the Attorney General, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, I can secure such a change in advance of our departure from the EU.