European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 5) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:30 pm on 3rd April 2019.

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Photo of Caroline Lucas Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion 6:30 pm, 3rd April 2019

Thank you, Mr Speaker. I lend my support to this important Bill, which is a vital safety net to ensure that we do not crash out with no deal next week and that we have enough time to find a constructive way forward.

Many others have already spoken passionately about the impact that a no deal would have on business and on the most vulnerable. Of course, a no deal would hit the poorest communities hardest. I want to say a few words about two things. First, I think we would put the Good Friday agreement at risk if we did not pass this Bill, and we would risk greater insecurity and tension in Northern Ireland, which would be a criminal thing to do. I am inordinately shocked, even knowing what I know, that 14 members of the Cabinet appear to be positively enthusiastic about leaving with no deal—I cannot think of anything more irresponsible.

Secondly, a no deal would be a disaster for our environment. It would lead to a huge governance gap. Not only would we not have the environmental policies that have been key to protecting our environment in this country and that have come from Brussels, but we would also lack the crucial enforcement agencies.