Uk’S Withdrawal from the EU

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:21 pm on 27th February 2019.

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Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 3:21 pm, 27th February 2019

I am grateful for the right hon. Lady’s intervention for two reasons. First, I have been very hard on the Prime Minister, I think justifiably, for the fact that she set out the red lines without any discussion about them in Parliament, or even, I understand, in the Cabinet. It was her almost personal interpretation of the referendum. In my view, many interpretations could have been applied to it, but that was not one of them.

The second reason is important. I am not sure that getting a deal that is not really liked through the House at the last minute is going to settle anything. If, on a sweaty night in March, a measure goes through that no one really likes, the idea that that constitutes closure is very worrying. Of course, we are building up the expectation that if a deal goes through, that will be it, Brexit will be settled and it will all be over. We will still be in the foothills, because all that will happen after that will be the negotiations on the future relationship, which is so thin at the moment.