If the House will forgive me, I have given way quite a lot and I want to move on to the substance of my speech.
At the end of this afternoon’s debate, this House will have a choice on the Government’s motion and the various amendments that Mr Speaker has selected, but by
My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister spoke yesterday of the extensive work that has been taking place to make good on this House’s call for legal changes to guarantee that the Northern Ireland backstop cannot endure indefinitely. The House endorsed an amendment tabled by my hon. Friend Sir Graham Brady on
As hon. Members will also have heard, there have been discussions on the political declaration, including additions or changes to increase the focus and ambition of both sides to deliver the future partnership, which we both seek, as soon as possible. The ideas we are putting forward in those discussions are not simply the Government’s; they reflect the intensive dialogue we have had with Members on both sides of the House. I have met Keir Starmer once and am keen to do so again, as he knows, and I have met colleagues from other political parties and colleagues representing all shades of opinion on this country’s relationship with the European Union.