Eu: Withdrawal and Future Relationship (Motions)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:43 pm on 27th March 2019.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Chair, Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union, Chair, Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union 4:43 pm, 27th March 2019

I will not because many people want to speak. I hope the hon. Gentleman will forgive me.

The anger expressed by some Members towards the Prime Minister’s deal is in part revealing. The truth is that there is a choice to be made. The suggestion that we could have all the things that we wanted without anything that we did not has proven not to be the case. If things have changed, should we not therefore ask the people?

Secondly, the Government changed their mind originally on whether the House would have a meaningful vote. The Government said at one point that there would be an enormous row about the structure of the negotiations and then changed their mind and accepted the way in which the European Union wanted to conduct them. The Government have come back once already, and may well this week come back again, in an attempt to persuade us to change our minds about the withdrawal agreement and the political declaration. The first holder of the post of Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union changed his mind about supporting the deal. There are reports that Mr Rees-Mogg may be in the process of changing his mind as well. The Prime Minister said 108 times that we would definitely leave on 29 March, but she changed her mind and we are not.

Why is it that the only people in this debate apparently not allowed to be asked whether they have changed their minds are the British people? How can that be democratic? If Members agree that it is not, I hope very much that they will vote for motion (M) tonight.