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

I did explain this earlier in my remarks. What the Government have expressed in our motion and what I am trying to put before the House is that there is basically a choice of two options before the House. The first is that a decision is taken to agree the deal that has been negotiated and is on the table—which we know the European Council is willing to accept and believe the European Parliament would be willing to accept—and get on with things. In that case, we may need a short technical extension just to permit the necessary implemented legislation to pass here. Or—[Interruption.] I am trying to respond to the question of Chuka Umunna, and I hope that the House will allow me to do so.

The second option is that we would face the prospect of having to seek a longer extension. As I said earlier, in such a scenario, where we would be going into the European Council without approval for the deal on the table, the Government’s commitment is that we would, in the two weeks following the European Council, consult through the usual channels with other parties and work to provide a process by which the House could form a majority on how to take things forward.