Leaving the European Union

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:50 pm on 26th February 2019.

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Photo of Ian Blackford Ian Blackford SNP Westminster Leader 12:50 pm, 26th February 2019

I thank the Prime Minister for advance sight of her statement. I have to say that I find myself once again agreeing with Mr Clarke. There is the possibility that we will extend article 50 beyond the end of June. In the light of that, may I give a helpful suggestion to the Prime Minister? The Scottish National party is already putting in place candidates for the European elections. May I suggest that the Conservatives consider doing the same?

There are only 19 parliamentary days until Brexit day, yet the Prime Minister wants to delay the meaningful vote until 12 March—why? From 12 March, there are only 10 parliamentary days before Brexit. We will have lost nine days in which this issue could have been resolved. The Dutch Prime Minister says:

“We are sleep walking into no deal scenario.”

There was no breakthrough in the 45-minute meeting with the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. Council President Donald Tusk said that an extension of article 50 would be the “rational” decision. Although, that would suggest that this Government are capable of making rational decisions—there is little evidence of that.

Prime Minister, your strategy to run down the clock is disastrous. Is it not the case that you have continued to fail to reach an agreement on the backstop? Is it not the case that you cannot get the alternative arrangements on the backstop that you promised at the end of—