Leaving the European Union

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:08 pm on 22nd May 2019.

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Photo of Theresa May Theresa May The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 1:08 pm, 22nd May 2019

I and my colleagues across Government voted to leave the European Union on 29 March. We continue to believe that the best way to leave the European Union is with a deal. That is the manifesto on which my hon. Friend and I both stood at the last general election, and I believe it is important that we recognise that and deliver it for the British people. He makes the point about whether it is for the House to decide. The British people voted to leave. I have been trying to leave the European Union. I am looking forward to voting a fourth time to leave the European Union in the withdrawal agreement Bill. Sadly, Opposition Members and some of my colleagues have not voted alongside me. How we do it is a matter for this House, because the deal must be ratified by this House, and the Government and this House must determine the objectives for the next stage of negotiations. I have been clear that those negotiations will be taken forward by somebody else leading this Government, but I am also clear that we cannot get on to that second stage of negotiations until we get over the first stage. That is what the Bill is about.