I suppose that I accept the proposition that one person’s short may be another person’s long, but the words of the Minister for the Cabinet Office did not come in isolation or out of the blue; they came in the middle of a debate, which was quite heated at times, about what the motion meant and how we should interpret it. I do not think that anyone who was in that debate would, in all honesty, doubt what the Minister for the Cabinet Office was saying and what he meant by it, and I took
“a short and, critically, one-off extension”—[Official Report,
Vol. 656, c. 566.]
to mean an extension for up to three months with a cliff-edge at the end.