European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:13 pm on 4th September 2019.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Chair, Committee on Exiting the European Union 3:13 pm, 4th September 2019

I have not had a chance to read the final version, and it will be tabled with the Clerks during this Second Reading debate, but I am aware of the intention of the amendment and I completely understand what my hon. Friends are trying to achieve. We cannot continue to delay taking a decision, and I shall come back to that point later in my speech. I will, of course, also listen to the debate that follows in Committee. I would just say that the Bill is deliberately open as to the purpose of the extension; it provides a framework for reporting and debate. As I have just pointed out, it is supported by right hon. and hon. Members who have already voted for a deal and would vote for one again. It is important that we focus on the principal purpose, which is to prevent a no-deal Brexit, and keep the coalition that shares that view together. I will have more to say about that—