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

I did take an intervention from the Prime Minister, Mr Speaker. Perhaps the hon. Lady had not noticed that.

Is the Prime Minister seriously telling the House to wait until 13 February and put their faith in her doing negotiations in a couple of weeks that she has failed to do in the past two years? One really wonders how many more ceremonial baubles and promises of ermine will be handed out in vain in an attempt to cajole Conservative MPs to vote for a deal that has been overwhelmingly rejected by this House. The Prime Minister says that a second referendum would be like asking the public to vote again until they give the right answer, but so far that is precisely what she is asking this House to do.

Labour will today back amendments that attempt to rule out this Government’s reckless option of allowing the UK to crash out without a deal. Everyone bar the Prime Minister accepts this would be disastrous. The CBI says:

“The projected impact”— of no deal

“on the UK economy would be devastating”.

Just yesterday, the Federation of Small Businesses called on Members of this House to block no deal. The TUC, representing millions of workers, is also opposed to no deal, as its general secretary, Frances O’Grady, reiterated to me last week. Every Opposition party in this House is opposed to no deal. Many Conservative Members, even Front-Bench and Cabinet Conservative Members, are opposed to no deal. Let me quote the Chancellor, who said recently:

“I clearly do not believe that making a choice to leave without a deal would be a responsible thing to do”.

So, presumably, he too wants no deal ruled out.