Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:10 pm on 3rd April 2019.

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Photo of Mark Harper Mark Harper Conservative, Forest of Dean 4:10 pm, 3rd April 2019

I note very carefully what the hon. Lady says. I have opposed the Cabinet’s withdrawal agreement and political declaration twice because I think the backstop is a fundamental problem with the agreement. After the last couple of weeks of votes in the House and the Government’s response to them, I came to the conclusion that the most central, overriding promise I made at the general election was to deliver Brexit, and I reluctantly came to the conclusion that I needed to support the withdrawal agreement in order to deliver Brexit, so I agree with her on that point. I behaved in that way on Friday, and I wish more of my right hon. and hon. Friends had done so, so that we could have got the withdrawal agreement over the line to secure that outcome.

The final point, in concluding my remarks on the amendment in the name of the right hon. Member for Leeds Central, was to ask him where we are hoping to go on this. I notice he referred to compositing motions, which is very much a Labour thing to do with sticking motions together. It seemed implicit in what he was saying and what one or two others have said, such as Wera Hobhouse, that there is an assumption that if we take a number of propositions, none of which would secure a majority in the House, and glue them together in this compositing process—I am not sure that is a verb, but it sounds as though it is—