We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Uk’S Withdrawal from the EU

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:03 pm on 27th February 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Caroline Spelman Caroline Spelman The Second Church Estates Commissioner, Chair, Draft Parliamentary Buildings (Restoration and Renewal) Bill Committee 4:03 pm, 27th February 2019

Thank you, Mr Speaker. To be honest, I was not expecting to be called quite so early in the debate, so I prepared a relatively short speech, having been conditioned by the time limits that have usually pertained in these debates. So I do not expect to detain the House for too long with my observations.

I begin by picking up where Keir Starmer, speaking for the Opposition, left off. In his final words he acknowledged that something important has changed. Indeed his colleague, the right hon. Member for Birkenhead (Frank Field), intervened earlier in the debate to say that the atmosphere is changing, and I think he is right. The pragmatism and courage the Prime Minister showed yesterday in making her statement is a very important change. I also welcome the Brexit Secretary’s recognition that, when my amendment carried on 29 January, Parliament demonstrated a clear majority against no deal. I listened very carefully to him speaking on the “Today” programme on Radio 4 this morning, when he set out that, if that majority should be restated, and if the meaningful vote did not carry before 12 March, Parliament would have an opportunity to vote on an extension to article 50 the following day. I am pleased to see that the will of Parliament will now be respected.

I absolutely agree with the deputy Prime Minister that the best way to avoid a no-deal Brexit is to vote for a deal. I did just that on 15 January and I will do so again when a deal is next put. I really do appeal to colleagues across the House to do the same. Agreeing a deal would help to ensure an orderly Brexit, which is essential to protect jobs. I have been absolutely consistent on my motivation on this issue, which is to protect the jobs and livelihoods of my constituents and those of my colleagues.