Eu: Withdrawal and Future Relationship (Motions)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:51 pm on 1st April 2019.

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Photo of Lucy Powell Lucy Powell Labour/Co-operative, Manchester Central 7:51 pm, 1st April 2019

It is a pleasure to follow Robert Halfon. He and I have very different perspectives on this issue—I represent a constituency that voted remain, and I campaigned for remain—but we have reached some of the same conclusions. I think today’s debate is about that spirit of compromise, trade-off and working out what each of us can live with, rather than being about our preferred option.

I will vote for all the options on the table, although I am sceptical about some of them; my biggest fear at this stage is that we will be heading for a no-deal Brexit on 12 April unless the House can reach a view about what it is in favour of—ideally more than one thing, but at least something. I think it highly unlikely that the EU will give us a longer extension, or will even contemplate that, if we are still locked into the indecision vortex that we have been locked into for so long.

Everything has its trade-offs, not least when it comes to a complex compromise such as the one put together so carefully by Nick Boles and others. It is easy to target different points and to say, “I am against this little bit and that little bit and therefore I will not vote for it”, but nothing is perfect. Let me say to colleagues, as I did last week, that we should all hold our noses when it comes to a number of points that might cause us concern. We must break this deadlock before we crash out a week on Thursday with no deal.