Uk’S Withdrawal from the EU

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:45 pm on 27th February 2019.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Chair, Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union, Chair, Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union 4:45 pm, 27th February 2019

The right hon. and learned Gentleman very forcefully makes one of the arguments for why no deal is not an option in every sense of the word.

In conclusion, we are in a marginally better position than we were when we had the last of these debates, because the Government have been forced to face reality. I pay tribute to Ministers who, we are told, in a series of delegations to the Prime Minister, made her realise that she would not be able to defeat the amendments today if she did not make a concession yesterday.

However, we are still in a very perilous position for the country. I have no doubt at all about our ability to prosper, but our future prosperity depends on the decisions that we choose to make. It is not automatic, as the Brexit disaster is proving. That is why I echo the view of others who have said that those who argued for leave bear a very heavy responsibility for the crisis the country is now in. Parliament’s job is to make sure that, when that moment comes, if the deal is defeated again, we are ready to make a choice about what we are for. The tragedy of Brexit is that the Government have been completely incapable of making those choices. It is Parliament’s responsibility to step up and take those decisions if the Government continue to fail to do so.