Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:19 pm on 27th March 2019.

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Photo of Oliver Letwin Oliver Letwin Conservative, West Dorset 1:19 pm, 27th March 2019

Again, that is a perfectly reasonable set of questions with a definitive set of answers. On a third meaningful vote this Thursday or Friday, that timetable has been set by the EU—it is not the making of any Member of the House or the Government. The EU made it clear in its legal decision that the withdrawal agreement had to be agreed by the House by 11 pm, I think, but in any event late at night, on Friday in order for 12 April not to be activated and to move us to 22 May. That would be necessary for the Government to pass the withdrawal and implementation Bill, which is in turn necessary for their meaningful vote to be meaningful—without the Bill it is a nothing, as both my hon. Friend and others on both sides of the House who study this very well understand. The fact is that the Thursday/Friday schedule this week has been set by the EU, not any of us, and there is nothing that I or anybody else here can do about it. It is very important therefore—for those of us who want to make sure we do not drop out without a deal on the 12th—to ensure that, if my hon. Friends do not support those of us who would be in the Lobbies voting for MV3 by Friday night, there is an alternative, and this is the only way we can do that.