Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:55 pm on 3rd April 2019.

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Photo of Oliver Letwin Oliver Letwin Conservative, West Dorset 1:55 pm, 3rd April 2019

My right hon. Friend tempts me to stray into the particulars of the Bill, but I was not suggesting that it should be developed to have the effect that he describes; it already has that effect. The Bill provides for the House, upon the Prime Minister putting forward a motion about the length of the extension, to determine whether it wishes to amend that length, and then provides for her to seek the approval of the House for whatever she comes back with from the EU. There are issues about whether this is the best drafting, but they can be considered in the Lords stages of the Bill if the Government so wish. We had productive discussions with the Government this very morning about their views on whether more flexibility should be built in. We are very open to that—I think I can speak for my right hon. Friend the Member for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford on that—but at the moment, the Bill does exactly what I described, and not what my right hon. Friend John Redwood described.