Section 1 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2019

Part of Exiting the European Union (Sanctions) – in the House of Commons at 4:36 pm on 9th April 2019.

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Photo of Yvette Cooper Yvette Cooper Chair, Home Affairs Committee, Chair, Home Affairs Committee 4:36 pm, 9th April 2019

I think that there is a problem with the way in which everyone has been approaching the debate. Like my hon. Friend, I think that a no-deal Brexit would be deeply damaging to our constituents, but I also think that the continual attempts to suggest that there are betrayals and conspiracies make it harder for people to come together and reach a sensible and sustainable outcome.

One of the reasons we are in this situation is that there has been no attempt to build a consensus since the referendum. That is why I argued for a cross-party commission at the very beginning of this process, and for a process that would bring together leave and remain voters to try to work out the best way forward. Frankly, if we do not do that, nothing lasts. If everyone thinks only about winning in the short term and getting what they want straightaway, rather than about how we can build consensus for what is effectively a constitutional change, even if they win in the short term it will not last and whatever we get will end up unravelling.