Uk’S Withdrawal from the EU

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

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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

I cannot commit the Government to that, but it is clear to the House that these are not normal political times. I do not envy the job of my party’s Chief Whip, which must be one of the most difficult jobs on the planet at the moment. The main parties have difficulty in operating as we normally would, and much of what has been achieved has been achieved by building cross-party alliances. I think the public feel reassured when they see that happen, leastways my constituents and members of my party have told me that they like to see us working together in the national interest to try to bring about a resolution to this process, because we need it sooner rather than later.

With good will and determination, I believe we can get there and secure the new relationship with Europe for which people voted. I believe we will enjoy trading on preferential terms with our largest market, while being outside the constraints of the EU institutions to which many object today. That is what more than 17 million people voted for, and that reality is now within our grasp.

Whether Brexit is delivered on 29 March or is delayed for a few months—I am no great fan of an extended delay, as delay means uncertainty and will cost businesses money—it is up to us to back a deal that delivers certainty and protects prosperity and work. I therefore urge colleagues from all parties carefully to consider the amendments before the House today. More than that, as the debate continues in this place, we must now work more closely together than ever before to deliver Brexit.