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 will take more interventions in a little while, but I want to make the point that the essence of any negotiation is to find a mutually acceptable solution. That is the spirit in which both sides have consistently approached these negotiations and that is the spirit in which I will engage with our partners, if this amendment passes.

Some say that there is no point even trying to achieve any change—I am hearing that from some interventions from sedentary positions, and from elsewhere—and that the EU simply will not budge under any circumstances, but in the two years since this House voted to trigger article 50, the EU has made concessions in many areas of the negotiations where people said no ground would ever be given. Today, neither side in this negotiation wants to see the UK leave without a deal. The simple fact is that the deal I reached with the EU has been rejected by this House. In response, the EU has asked us what we want and what this Parliament will accept, and this is Parliament’s opportunity to tell them.