Section 1 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2019

Part of Exiting the European Union (Sanctions) – in the House of Commons at 3:42 pm on 9th April 2019.

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Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Solicitor-General 3:42 pm, 9th April 2019

Tempted as I am to take further interventions from right hon. and hon. Members, I must finish.

I think most colleagues would agree that it would now be odd to leave on 22 May, when just a few additional weeks would allow for the finalisation of the ratification of a deal. I should explain why we cannot seek to extend only to 22 May and then ask for a further extension to 30 June. To put it simply, we must all recognise that we cannot assemble and reassemble the European Council every few weeks.

The Government have committed to deliver on the result of the referendum, and we in this House must now come together to find a way forward, rather than seeking to further extend the process. It is up to us to chart a course for this country beyond the EU and to agree a plan that can deliver what I hope and believe will be a bright future, with the close and meaningful partnership with the EU that we all want to see. That is what the Government’s extension will provide time for, and that is why I urge all right hon. and hon. Members to support it, to support the Prime Minister at tomorrow’s Council, and to support a plan that will deliver on the referendum and take the United Kingdom out of the European Union. I commend the motion to the House.