EU Withdrawal Agreement: Legal Changes

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:39 pm on 11th March 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Robin Walker Robin Walker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 3:39 pm, 11th March 2019

As negotiations are ongoing and at a critical stage, I am here to update the House on the latest developments. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister spoke to President Juncker by phone yesterday evening, teams will continue to talk throughout today and the Government will make a statement later today updating the House on the progress of discussions. As previously understood, the Attorney General’s legal analysis will be updated following the outcome of negotiations, and he will publish his legal analysis of any document produced and negotiated with the EU and present it to the House before it meets tomorrow.

Clearly, I cannot pre-empt the outcome of these sensitive and urgent discussions, and I am sure the House understands that I am not able to share details or engage in speculation about talks that are still ongoing, but I can assure it that, as soon as the negotiations have concluded, it will be updated. The meaningful vote will take place tomorrow and the motion will be tabled today ahead of that debate. The House will then face a fundamental choice: back the Brexit deal or risk a delay that would mean months more spent arguing about Brexit and prolonging the current uncertainty—uncertainty that would do nothing but pass control to Brussels and increase the risks.

It is incumbent on the House to deliver on the will of the British people and to provide certainty. Tomorrow, right hon. and hon. Members will have the opportunity to do just that in a meaningful vote fully informed by the Government’s legal analysis. I believe that the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition and every hon. Member in the House should take that opportunity to move forward and provide certainty.