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 will not give way. I am conscious that I have been speaking for a long time. Other Members wish to speak, so I am going to make progress now. I want to finish what I am saying about the Government’s case and then move on to the amendment that you have selected, Mr Speaker.

We do not want to be in a situation where the only certainty would be more uncertainty, but if the House has not come together around a deal by Thursday next week, the only viable extension would be a long one. We would have to hold the European Parliament elections, and the Government would facilitate a process with the House to consider the potential ways forward to reach a majority. However, as my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said last week, that delay would ensure that the only certainty would be greater uncertainty for businesses and for the constituents whom we represent. That is the choice that we face and the responsibility that we must now shoulder.

If I may, Mr Speaker, I will turn to the amendments that you have selected for debate.