UK’s Withdrawal from the European Union

Part of Business of the House (Today) – in the House of Commons at 12:33 pm on 14th March 2019.

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Photo of David Lidington David Lidington Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Minister of State (Cabinet Office) 12:33 pm, 14th March 2019

As I indicated earlier, I plan to address amendment (h) later in my speech, along with the other amendments that you have selected, Mr Speaker. I hope it will provide some reassurance to my right hon. Friend if I say that the Government’s collectively agreed policy as regards a second referendum has not changed.

I should be clear that seeking an extension to article 50 is not something that the Government ever wanted to have to do. We believe that we negotiated a good deal for this country, and one that also respected the result of the referendum and would have allowed the United Kingdom to leave the European Union on 29 March this year. By rejecting that deal, the decisions of the House have brought us to this point today. It is important for all Members, from whichever political party they come, to acknowledge that the path ahead and the choices that confront us as a House are far from straightforward. We need to decide how long an extension to propose and we need to put that proposal to the European Council before it meets next week, in order to seek agreement from the 27 member states.