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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 6:45 pm on 4th September 2019.

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Photo of Paul Blomfield Paul Blomfield Shadow Minister (Exiting the European Union) 6:45 pm, 4th September 2019

I think my hon. Friend is talking about the Theresa May Government, which is a very different proposition from the one we face at the moment. We were not at that stage of agreement. If there had been the basis for an agreement, we would have seized that opportunity in the talks. Although I have sympathy with what he says, and those proposals could be part of the discussions that we need to have in the extended period that we will secure when this Bill is passed, as will the proposals that other Members across the Committee have made, we need the space to have those discussions, and we can only achieve that space by voting for the Bill.

This Bill has successfully brought Members across the House together around a single, clearly focused objective. We are united behind the need to avoid a no-deal Brexit. We need to keep our focus very narrowly on that when we vote and ensure that we achieve that objective because we know—a clear majority know; a growing majority within this House know—that if we allow ourselves to stumble into a no-deal Brexit, it will be a disaster for the country.