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

The Prime Minister has never sought to compromise. What she has found difficult—and what any Prime Minister would find difficult—is trying to reconcile the broad range of promises that were made to people in 2016 and the inability to deliver them all. That is entirely due to the fact that the leave campaign was never honest about the tension at the heart of its offer, which was that there is a trade-off between national sovereignty and economic trade and partnership, economic security and national security. We have been great beneficiaries of pooled sovereignty, but if we try to unpool sovereignty there are trade-offs and sacrifices. The leave campaign has never been honest about that.

The final thing I want to say is about the European elections. The idea that we would decide our country’s future, not just for the next year or two but for generations, around the inconvenience of organising European elections is nonsensical. There has never been a clamour for European elections. In fact, lots of the country is currently with Brenda from Bristol on the idea of any election: “Not another one!” I find this idea that holding elections or a confirmatory vote is undemocratic to be laughable. How can involving all our country in decisions about our future possibly be anti-democratic? The idea that we would rush to judgment, crash out with no deal and make decisions that will hurt this country for generations to come because we cannot be bothered to go out and knock on a few doors is no basis on which to make a decision. We should vote against the amendment.