Duties in connection with Article 50 extension

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 5) Bill – in the House of Commons at 9:15 pm on 8th April 2019.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Chair, Committee on Exiting the European Union 9:15 pm, 8th April 2019

First, I should like to say to Sir William Cash that the reason we are debating this Bill again tonight is that the House of Commons has approved it and the other place has approved it with amendments. If that is a constitutional revolution, it is a constitutional revolution courtesy of the democratic will of this House and the other place. Secondly, on the subject of the European elections, the Government have made it quite clear to the House that if we are still a member of the European Union on 23 May, those elections will take place. Indeed, the Government have moved the order that will start the process and I understand that the Conservative party has started the process of calling for candidates to stand in those elections.

I rise to support my right hon. Friend Yvette Cooper and Sir Oliver Letwin and to thank them, because the Bill has helped us get to the place, subject to the decision of the European Council on Wednesday, where the will of the House to oppose leaving the European Union without an agreement will finally be given effect. The House needs to remember that the Bill has one purpose, and one purpose only: it is a “prevention of a no-deal Brexit” Bill. If the House gives its approval to it shortly, it will become a “prevention of a no-deal Brexit” Act.