I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.
I want to say at the start that every Member of this House, whatever view they hold on the fundamental political question before us, is trying, as they see best, to act in the national interest and in the interests of their constituents. The problem—the reason why we are here today—is, of course, that each of us has a slightly different view of what those best interests are.
I recognise that we have only a very short amount of time in which to debate this Bill. Let me respond on that point by quoting—I can do no better—Sir Oliver Letwin, who said:
“it can only be done at high speed, because there is no time left.—[Official Report,
Vol. 657, c. 1065.]
Wherever we stand on this issue, we know there is very little time left, and following the decision on Prorogation, there is even less time than would have been available previously. Therefore, I hope that, recognising that we have strongly held views, we will treat each other with respect and consideration during this debate.
The purpose of the Bill is simple: to ensure that the United Kingdom does not leave the European Union on