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Uk’S Withdrawal from the EU

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:26 pm on 27th February 2019.

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Photo of Joanna Cherry Joanna Cherry Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Justice and Home Affairs), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 6:26 pm, 27th February 2019

I rise to support amendment (k), in the name of my right hon. Friend Ian Blackford.

The distinguished political journalist Robert Peston has pointed out that the amendment rules out a no-deal Brexit completely, not just on 29 March but in perpetuity, and should therefore be supported by all Opposition Members, including the Labour party, and many Conservative Members. I am delighted that the amendment has the support of Plaid Cymru, and of Caroline Lucas, of the Liberal Democrats, of the Independent Group, and of the Labour party and, I understand, some Members on the Government side. I think it shows that there is a majority in this House to rule out no deal completely.

Given that the Government’s own Business Secretary has said that no deal would be ruinous, given what Anna Soubry has said about the documents that she has viewed in some detail, and given what Jeremy Lefroy said about this not being a game of chicken, supporting the amendment is a no-brainer. I entreat hon. Members across the House to put aside any reservations about the Scottish National party. They may not agree with all our programme. That is fine; that is their right. But there is a majority across this House to rule out no deal, and I ask hon. Members, particularly on the Government Benches, to live up to what they have said across the media and to have the gumption to support this now cross-party amendment, albeit led by the SNP, to rule out no deal completely.

It is simply not true that no deal cannot be ruled out completely. Why would any country want to shoot itself in the foot in that way? It is ruinous, as the Government have said. We can rule out no deal. The reason we can rule out no deal is that even if the European Union did not give us an extension, we have the means to revoke article 50, thanks to the case that I and others took to the European Court of Justice. I declare my interest in respect of the Good Law Project in that regard.

I entreat hon. Members: today, rather than this being yet another talking shop because certain amendments have been pulled, this is an opportunity to rule out no deal in perpetuity. Those on the Opposition Benches are supporting the amendment. I know that some hon. Members on the Government Benches have said that they will support it. I hope that more will do so, because we can defeat the Government’s madness on this tonight.