UK’s Withdrawal from the European Union

Part of Business of the House (Today) – in the House of Commons at 4:19 pm on 14th March 2019.

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Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Trade), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union) 4:19 pm, 14th March 2019

I will not give way. The question today is not whether we have an extension or not, because I think everyone here knows that we need one. When I asked the Prime Minister about this a couple of days ago, she said that she was going to work with the usual channels

“to see what is necessary in relation to getting legislation through the House.”—[Official Report, 12 March 2019;
Vol. 656, c. 224.]

All of us here know exactly what that means. It means that she accepts that there will have to be an extension, so the question really is whether we are having a short extension or a meaningful extension—one that will facilitate the will of Parliament, which has expressed a clear desire to find a different deal. I hope it will be an extension that will allow for a people’s vote. A short one would be to enable the Prime Minister to tie up her loose ends after she has bludgeoned us black and blue with her baneful deal and her robotic mantra of, “It is my deal or no deal.” I hope that we will secure a meaningful extension. Of course, if that is not granted by the European Union, we will, as others have said this afternoon, simply need to revoke article 50.