Section 1 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2019

Part of Exiting the European Union (Sanctions) – in the House of Commons at 4:47 pm on 9th April 2019.

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Photo of Anne Main Anne Main Conservative, St Albans 4:47 pm, 9th April 2019

It is very nice to follow Yvette Cooper, because she talked about taking a consensual approach to this. The consensual approach of this House was to trigger article 50 and to decide on the date of 29 March. The extension that is being requested today is very open-ended, and I find this incredibly concerning. The rhetoric in the media surrounding the extension has been, as the Attorney General said today, that we might not have to take up our seats in the European Parliament if we end up taking part in the European elections. However, if the extension were to last a year or longer, those European parliamentarians might well be in their seats. I find it bizarre that we are talking about good behaviour and not interrupting a budget—in other words, trying to bind those people who might have stood on a manifesto of their own making or perhaps a Conservative manifesto, and expecting them to behave themselves and be good. I find that very worrying. If those discussions are indeed taking place, it would be even more worrying if a similar agreement were extracted from the Prime Minister of this country that she and the British Government should also behave themselves and not give due scrutiny to or make any criticism of the budget.