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

I will not give way because I have been told that I have only three minutes.

There are huge further concerns about a no deal, crossing everything from security to medicines, fissile materials and pharmaceuticals. We often hear from Conservative Members that, somehow, crashing out of the EU would make it easier for us to make trade deals. If other countries are considering whether we are a potentially trustworthy partner, would they really want to conduct a trade deal with a partner that has crashed out of the EU and has presumably not even paid its divorce bill? I think it would make us look incredibly untrustworthy.

Finally, let us not have all this stuff about there being some kind of stitch-up to prevent us from leaving the EU. Conservative Members cannot possibly say what was in the minds of those who voted leave nearly three years ago. What we do know is that, in fact, those who voted leave represented 37% of the electorate, it was nearly three years ago and a no deal was not on the ballot paper. How on earth can we take such far-reaching action, which would cause so much damage to our constituents and our environment, on the basis of little over a third of the electorate nearly three years ago?

At the very least, this has to go back to the people. We cannot possibly pretend to be acting in their name unless we have the courtesy to go back and check that this is what they meant. Frankly, from everything I know from speaking to people across the country, they did not mean for the amount of devastation and destruction that would be caused to this country by crashing out of the EU with no deal, which is why this Bill is so important.