Uk’S Withdrawal from the European Union

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:54 pm on 13th March 2019.

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Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 3:54 pm, 13th March 2019

I welcome today’s debate. The Prime Minister is leaving; I know she wanted to open this debate and we understand why she cannot; I send our best wishes for her speedy recovery. I am sure that goes for the whole House.

If the Prime Minister had opened the debate, I think she would have engaged seriously with the points being made by others, rather than hurling easy insults and not engaging with the points. This is a serious debate about a very serious matter, and it needs to be conducted in the right way. The debate is long overdue. On this side of the House, we have never accepted that there should be a binary choice between the Prime Minister’s deal or no deal—“very bad” or “even worse” is not a meaningful choice and would be a very sorry end to the negotiations. Yesterday, the House overwhelmingly voted to reject the Prime Minister’s deal, which is the first of those options. Today, we have the chance to reject the second, and we should do so with as big a majority as possible. The mantra of “My deal or no deal” needs to be dead and buried tonight.