Uk’S Withdrawal from the European Union

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:26 pm on 13th March 2019.

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Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke Father of the House of Commons 4:26 pm, 13th March 2019

I agree with my right hon. and learned Friend entirely. I have no idea why the Government thought it necessary to put the second half of the motion on the Order Paper. I have been reassured, however, so let me try to reassure him on this. When my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State opened the debate, he referred several times to revocation as the alternative—he is now nodding in the affirmative—and I think that if forced to do so, he would revoke. I take comfort from remembering the Prime Minister occasionally saying—normally to the right-wing nationalist members of my party—that if they were not careful, the alternative to her deal would be no Brexit, which amounts to the same thing. I would prefer the wording on the Order Paper to make it perfectly clear that we are ruling out no deal, but I take it that we have been given a guarantee that if no one can think of any better and more sensible way of resolving things, we are going to revoke article 50 and start all over again, because as I said when I began, we have got absolutely nowhere after three years of effort since the vote was announced.