UK’s Withdrawal from the European Union

Part of Business of the House (Today) – in the House of Commons at 3:46 pm on 14th March 2019.

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Photo of Justine Greening Justine Greening Conservative, Putney 3:46 pm, 14th March 2019

This is an important debate, but I think that most members of the public who are listening to it or watching it are probably losing the will to live, as I am. Yet again Parliament has confronted a long-term issue, on this occasion Brexit, and has failed to find a long-term path forward. I think that the only difference with Brexit is that there was a deadline for it, and today we are discussing the fact that that deadline is about to be missed, because we are simply not prepared for a departure on 29 March.

There is gridlock in this place, and we must find a way through it. I am sorry to say that while I think there may be a consensus here, I also think that the steps the Government have taken to keep bringing back so-called meaningful votes have actively got in the way of Parliament’s finding a consensus on a way forward. Ministers need to understand that there is no point in calling those votes meaningful any more, because they are actually meaningless.