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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 Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Conservative, Beaconsfield 5:42 pm, 25th March 2019

I am very grateful to my right hon. Friend for his characteristic courtesy. May I take him back to his answer to my right hon. and learned Friend Mr Clarke, who raised the issue of revocation? I rather share my right hon. Friend’s view that revocation would be a drastic act, but the fact that so many people are signing up to advocate it is probably a reflection of a growing level of exasperation. Is it not the case that the better course of action, rather than unilateral revocation, is to go back and ask the public whether they want the Prime Minister’s deal, with the alternative being remain? That would show respect for the 2016 referendum result. My anxiety is this: the Government boxed themselves in with red lines in their negotiations with the EU; now they are boxing themselves in with red lines in relation to the options available to the House to resolve the current crisis. I also worry, if the stories about the Cabinet minutes are correct, that some of the reasons appear to be very narrow and partisan, at a time when a national crisis should be requiring us to look more widely. Those of us who try to do that get vilified, but I am quite prepared to put up with that because I think it is where the national interest lies.