Sittings of the House (29 March)

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 5:00 pm on 28th March 2019.

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Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 5:00 pm, 28th March 2019

The motion has been tabled, and the hon. Gentleman will be able to find it in the Table Office. [Interruption.] I am happy to read it out. It is quite lengthy, so I hope Members will bear with me. It reads:

“That this House
notes the European Council Decision of 22 March 2019 taken in agreement with the United Kingdom extending the period under Article 50(3) of the Treaty on European Union, which provides for an extension to the Article 50 period to 22 May 2019 only if the House of Commons approves the Withdrawal Agreement by 29 March 2019;
notes that if the House does not do so by that date the Article 50 period will only as a matter of law be extended to 12 April 2019 and that any extension beyond 22 May 2019 would require the UK to bring forward the necessary Day of Poll Order to hold elections to the European Parliament;
notes that Article 184 of the Withdrawal Agreement refers to the Political Declaration between the UK and EU agreed on 25 November 2018, but that the EU has stated it remains open to negotiating changes to the Political Declaration;
notes that the House is currently undertaking deliberations to identify whether there is a design for the future relationship that commands its support;
notes that even should changes be sought to the Political Declaration, leaving the European Union with a deal still requires the Withdrawal Agreement;
declares that it wishes to leave the EU with an agreement as soon as possible and does not wish to have a longer extension;
therefore approves the Withdrawal Agreement, the Joint Instrument and the Unilateral Declaration laid before the House on 11 March 2019 so that the UK can leave the EU on 22 May 2019;
notes that this approval does not by itself meet the requirements of section 13(l)(b) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018;
and resolves that it is content to proceed to the next steps of this process, including fulfilling section 13 of this Act.”