We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

European Union (Withdrawal) Act

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:31 pm on 25th March 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 6:31 pm, 25th March 2019

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that intervention. I do think there is a trust issue. I hope that that can improve. The letter to President Tusk was an example of that because, having supposedly taken no deal off the table, the only extension that was asked for was one in the event that the meaningful vote failed, rather than if it went through. That left the prospect, but for what the European Council decided last Thursday, of no deal this Friday going back on the table, just a week after we thought we had taken it off the table.

So we do need to get into Wednesday. We need to have an intense discussion about how the votes on Wednesday are to be taken and see whether we can reach a consensus about that, reach a majority and find where that lies. We need to consider the credible options. Labour has long advocated a close economic relationship, including a customs union and single market alignment, but we have also made clear our support for a public vote as a lock on any deal that the Prime Minister passes. The Leader of the Opposition and I have met colleagues to discuss these proposals and the other ideas that have been put forward by other colleagues. What we need to do now is to agree the process for having a proper debate and to look at those and other credible options.