European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:50 pm on 4th September 2019.

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Photo of Stephen Barclay Stephen Barclay The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 4:50 pm, 4th September 2019

The Bill? I am very happy to talk about the Bill. The issue for the hon. Gentleman is that he talks about voting against no deal, but he should come clean and admit that actually he is opposed to Brexit entirely. The public want Brexit delivered. The business community wants certainty. The Bill will leave our negotiations in purgatory, with a third extension after more than three years. Much has been made about parliamentary time—about the period between now and 14 October—but the EU itself says that a deal would not be struck until the eleventh hour, and that it would take until 17 October for the EU Council to reach a decision. The issue is not the time that is spent in September, but the time between 17 October and 31 October.

Over the summer, this new Government have narrowed their negotiating asks, as set out in the letter to President Tusk. They have targeted their request on the withdrawal agreement and a best-in-class free trade agreement. This is a Bill that is intended to stop Brexit. I urge colleagues to oppose it.

The Speaker put the Question (Order, 3 September), That the Bill be now read a Second time.