Duties in connection with the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:15 pm on 4th September 2019.

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Photo of Christopher Chope Christopher Chope Conservative, Christchurch 6:15 pm, 4th September 2019

I will not give way. My right hon. Friend has now dropped that pretence, telling us yesterday that this Bill will show whether or not the House of Commons accepts a policy of a no-deal exit. He is saying that if this Bill carries on into law, we will be telling the EU, “Not to worry, in no circumstances will we be leaving without a deal.” In other words, we will be throwing in the towel to the EU. Nothing in this Bill is related to the no-deal preparations or recognises that since the change of Government expenditure on no deal has increased dramatically and that we are now in a position where we will be prepared for no deal—we should have been better prepared for it in the first place.

If the remoaners had the guts, they would have brought forward a Bill to revoke article 50, which is what they want in their hearts and what the EU wants, but they know that that would be resoundingly defeated if it were presented to this House. What we have instead is the revocation of article 50 in all but name—a device to deceive the public. This is a squalid little Bill. It is an affront to Parliament, to democracy and to the people, because it enslaves the UK to the EU. It relegates us to the status of a colony. It treats the UK as though we had been vanquished in war, by giving the EU the power to dictate the terms of our surrender. I despair at the defeatism of so many of my colleagues, and I hope that we will fight back and win in a general election, for which I cannot wait.