Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:04 pm on 3rd April 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Wera Hobhouse Wera Hobhouse Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Justice), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Environment and Climate Change) 3:04 pm, 3rd April 2019

I rise to support the motion, but I want to speak in particular to amendment (a), standing in the name of Hilary Benn.

We know that a good majority of Members in this House oppose a no-deal Brexit. In my relatively short time here in Parliament, I have understood our flexibility and that we can, at a pinch, do anything. We can revoke article 50, agree to a people’s vote or, with the motion from Yvette Cooper, ask the EU for a long extension. We will not crash out just by accident. If we do, it will be because of our active consent. It is our choice. I therefore want to address the question of what this House wants. That is the whole purpose of the indicative voting process. [Interruption.] If Members will forgive me, I will expand a little on the indicative voting process.

We know that every proposal so far has been defeated, some of them very narrowly. It is also true that neither the customs union nor the people’s vote achieved an overall majority in this House, which would be about 320 votes. It is my belief that we are just halfway through the indicative vote process. Many compelling options have not yet been proposed or voted on. The people’s vote proposal cannot stand alone. A new referendum always needs two choices.