Uk’S Withdrawal from the European Union

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:04 pm on 13th March 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Michael Gove Michael Gove The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 3:04 pm, 13th March 2019

I want to make a little progress but will accept more interventions in due course.

As a result of the House’s failure to agree to the deal the Prime Minister presented last night we now face a number of unattractive choices, and it is important that the House realises that all of these choices are less attractive than support for the deal the Prime Minister negotiated. We can choose as a House to leave without a deal, but there are significant economic, political and constitutional challenges if we embark on that course which I will go into in just a second. We could accept a deal less attractive than that which the Prime Minister secured, and as my hon. Friend Neil O'Brien has pointed out, there are many in this House who would have us leave the EU in a way that does not honour the referendum mandate and does not honour the manifesto promises at the last general election. Doing that would not only circumscribe this country’s sovereign right to make decisions in its own interests, but undermine and further erode faith in democracy. But if we are talking about faith in democracy, either frustrating the vote altogether by revoking article 50 or seeking to overturn it with a second referendum would be choices of far greater magnitude, and to my mind be far more damaging.