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European Union (Withdrawal)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:47 pm on 3rd September 2019.

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Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp Conservative, Croydon South 9:47 pm, 3rd September 2019

For three long years, we have talked about, debated and voted repeatedly on Brexit in this House, and yet here we stand after three years not having reached any firm resolution. In supporting the motion before the House this evening, we would simply prolong even further the uncertainty that our country and our businesses are experiencing, which my hon. Friend Robert Neill described in his excellent speech. We have a responsibility, having been elected in 2017 on manifestos to respect the referendum result, to do so, to stop prevaricating, to stop kicking the can down the road and, one way or another, to reach a definitive conclusion. The motion before the House does not do that. It simply prevaricates even further.

Some Opposition Members have been very clear about what they want, and I respect that. My neighbour, Tom Brake, and Caroline Lucas have both been clear previously and this evening that they would rather remain in the European Union and that they certainly do not want a no-deal exit. I disagree with that view, but at least they have clarity in expressing it. They also say that they do not want to leave with no deal, but those who adopt that view have only two choices: either to accept any deal that is offered up, no matter how bad, or to remain, and I do not think either of those options is acceptable. Remaining, when the country voted to leave and the main two parties were elected on manifestos to leave, is wholly unacceptable. There is only one sensible option, as my hon. Friend the Member for Bromley and Chislehurst eloquently pointed out—