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European Union (Withdrawal) Act

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:42 pm on 25th March 2019.

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Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke Father of the House of Commons 5:42 pm, 25th March 2019

On the Government’s commitment to avoid no deal, in line with the votes, my right hon. Friend has acceded that the Government do accept last week’s votes, which is in line with the constitutional convention that the Government do not proceed with policies that are rejected by this House of Commons. He has agreed that. Then he said that we therefore either pass the withdrawal agreement, which I have voted for, or ask for an extension, that being the only remedy presumably, but, as he rightly says, we cannot guarantee the Europeans would accept that. However, in line with the wishes of the House and what is now Government policy, if we are driven by the more hard-line people in this House to that circumstance, obviously the Government must revoke, in the hope that we start the whole process again once the House and everybody else has come back to their senses and found a consensus on how to proceed on the question of our future relations with the rest of the world.