European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:16 pm on 29th January 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Dominic Raab Dominic Raab Conservative, Esher and Walton 5:16 pm, 29th January 2019

The problem my hon. Friend has is that, although he has powerfully made the case for the Norway option, I have also read the cogent case made by my right hon. and learned Friend Mr Grieve in The Sunday Times for why that is wrong and we should have a second referendum. With just two months to go until Brexit, the amendment is a climbing frame for everyone with a different view. I fear most, however, that this would encourage the EU to delay at the 11th hour of the negotiations in the hope that we will settle for worse terms and undermine the Prime Minister at exactly the point we need to reinforce her hand.

I turn to amendment (n), tabled by my hon. Friend Sir Graham Brady. Initially, I thought this rather a vague amendment, but I understand precisely what he is seeking to achieve. The Government should have tabled an amendment of their own, but the Prime Minister has come to the Chamber and given three assurances: one, that the changes we will seek will be legally binding changes to the withdrawal agreement; two, that she will seriously consider the substantive proposals in what I can only call the Mogg-Morgan-Malthouse compromise; and three, that the revised deal will be returned to this House for a further, effectively meaningful vote. On that basis, I will vote for the amendment. I want to send the Prime Minister back to Brussels with a strong and clear sense of what this House will accept. That is the best way—in fact, the only way—to get a deal acceptable to the House and the country.