Uk’S Withdrawal from the EU

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:12 pm on 27th February 2019.

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Photo of David Lidington David Lidington Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Minister of State (Cabinet Office) 2:12 pm, 27th February 2019

I will try to restrain my appetite to take further interventions, Mr Speaker.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister set out three clear commitments to the House that should provide reassurance and clarity about the way forward. First, we will hold a second meaningful vote by Tuesday 12 March at the latest. Secondly, if the Government have not brought forward a further meaningful vote, or if we have lost such a second meaningful vote by Tuesday 12 March, then we will, in addition to the Government’s obligations—I stress that this is in addition to, not in place of them—table a neutral, amendable motion under section 13 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 to be voted on by Wednesday 13 March, at the latest, asking this House if it supports leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement and a framework for a future relationship on 29 March this year. The United Kingdom will leave without a deal on 29 March only if there is explicit consent in this House for that outcome.

Thirdly, if this House, having rejected leaving with the deal negotiated with the EU, then also rejects leaving on 29 March without a withdrawal agreement and future framework, the Government will, on 14 March, bring forward a motion on whether Parliament wants to seek a short, limited extension to article 50. If the House votes for an extension, the Government will seek to agree that extension approved by the House with the EU and bring forward the necessary legislation to change the exit date commensurate with that extension. The Government are committing themselves to bring forward—and therefore to support—such legislation. These commitments all fit the timescale set out in the private Member’s Bill in the name of the right hon. Member for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford. They are commitments made by the Prime Minister, and the Government will stick by them, as we have stuck by previous commitments to make statements and table amendable motions by specific dates.