European Union (Withdrawal) Act

Part of Business of the House (Today) – in the House of Commons at 2:03 pm on 12th March 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Theresa May Theresa May The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 2:03 pm, 12th March 2019

I thank my right hon. Friend for pointing that out. He is absolutely right. Voting against the deal would not mean that those obligations disappear, which is another reason why I believe it is very important for Members of this House to go through the Lobby in favour of the motion tonight.

It was not this House that decided it was time for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union; it was the British people. It falls to us to implement their decision—their desire for change and their demand for a better, more open, more successful future for our country. Today is the day that we can begin to build that future. This is the moment and this is the time—time for us to come together, back this motion and get the deal done. Only then can we get on with what we came here to do—what we were sent here to do.

Each and every one of us came into politics because we have sincerely held views about how to build a better Britain. Some have spent their political careers campaigning against the European Union and in favour of restoring sovereignty to this Parliament. For others, membership of the EU is one of the foundations of their vision of the UK’s place in the world. But we also came here to serve. We cannot serve our country by overturning a democratic decision of the British people, we cannot serve by prolonging a debate the British people now wish to see settled, and we cannot serve by refusing to compromise—by reinforcing instead of healing the painful divisions we see within our society and across our country.

The British people have been clear: they want us to implement the decision that they made nearly three years ago. So let us show what the House can achieve when we come together. Let us demonstrate what politics is for. Let us prove, beyond all doubt, that we believe democracy comes before party, faction, or personal ambition. The time has come to deliver on the instruction that we were given. The time has come to back this deal. I commend the motion to the House.