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 Bernard Jenkin Bernard Jenkin Chair, Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee 3:13 pm, 4th September 2019

Article 50(3) of the treaty on European Union baldly states that we leave after two years

“unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.”

There is no obligation on the European Union to decide to make a conditional offer—it can decide—yet the Bill requires the Prime Minister, in those circumstances, to accept the terms that are on offer, and that is it. The Bill hands the decision back to the European Union, rather than to this House.