European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:39 pm on 29th January 2019.

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Photo of Jeremy Corbyn Jeremy Corbyn Leader of Her Majesty's Official Opposition, Leader of the Labour Party 2:39 pm, 29th January 2019

This is a serious debate, and I do not think the hon. Gentleman’s intervention has done anything to raise the standard of debate.

It is quite clear to me that our first duty is to block a disastrous no deal, and I hope amendments to that effect will be carried by the House this evening. Labour’s amendment (a), which stands in my name and in the name of my colleagues, starts by calling for sufficient time for Parliament to vote on options that prevent leaving with no deal, but whatever happens in the votes that follow, it has now become inevitable that the Government will have to extend article 50 in any scenario. If amendments intended to rule out no deal are defeated, and if this Government are serious about keeping the threat of no deal on the table, they are not even close—not even close—to being prepared, and the exit date would have to be extended.

Even if the Prime Minister’s deal were somehow to achieve a majority in this House next month, there is no chance that the necessary primary legislation and an extensive catalogue of secondary legislation—I believe there are over 600 statutory instruments—could clear this place between now and 29 March.