Duties in connection with Article 50 extension

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 5) Bill – in the House of Commons at 9:30 pm on 8th April 2019.

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Photo of Wes Streeting Wes Streeting Labour, Ilford North 9:30 pm, 8th April 2019

It really is no good Government Members complaining about the lack of time—the lack of time to debate this Bill or the fact that we are days away from crashing out of the European Union with no deal. In fact, we would have done that already, were it not for the interventions of people from all parts of this House and in the other place.

Why are we in this position? There is some serious revisionist history going on tonight. It is because after the referendum, a Parliament in which a majority of Members voted to remain none the less said, “We accept that people have voted to leave the European Union.” When the Prime Minister—after she had been dragged through the courts, incidentally—was eventually forced to ask for permission to trigger article 50 and begin the process of negotiations, as has been said, the vast majority of MPs, myself included, voted to give the Prime Minister that permission. That was Parliament’s sole role in the matter: being asked for permission and giving the Prime Minister permission.