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Section 1 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2019

Part of Exiting the European Union (Sanctions) – in the House of Commons at 4:11 pm on 9th April 2019.

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Photo of Owen Paterson Owen Paterson Conservative, North Shropshire 4:11 pm, 9th April 2019

I am going to move on, because I know others want to speak.

Under the legal position at the moment, unless the Government and particularly the Prime Minister take an executive decision, we will leave at 11 pm on Friday. That is the legal position, so all the pantomime we have had with the Bill over the past few days and last night is actually irrelevant. There has to be a Government decision. I appeal to the Government at this late stage to recognise the extraordinary anger outside this House at the fact that it is not listening to the 17.4 million people who voted to take back control. This issue could be resolved by leaving on Friday evening at 11 o’clock. Lo and behold, we would see that all these fears—there might be some interruptions, there might be some disruption—would be nothing like the damage to the integrity of our democratic institutions. People have said to me, “Mr Paterson, I voted all my life. I am never voting again because they”—all of us in this House—“are not listening.” That will be profound. That is a much bigger danger than a few small interruptions, which will be sorted out in the next few weeks.