Early Parliamentary General Election

Part of Deferred Divisions – in the House of Commons at 8:28 pm on 4th September 2019.

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Photo of Anna Soubry Anna Soubry Leader of the Independent Group for Change 8:28 pm, 4th September 2019

It is very important in this debate that we are all very mindful of the language we use. It has been concerning that right hon. and hon. Government Members, including our Prime Minister, have chosen to use the words “frit” and “frightened” of those of us who believe that the last thing this country needs is a general election. Given everything that has happened in the past few years, there are a number of people in this place who could not be accused of being frightened. In fact, it has taken a lot of courage for some people.

If Government Members are not familiar with courage, they might want to talk to some of those hon. Members they have just booted out of their own party—decent, long-serving and hugely loyal members of the Conservative party who last night and again today chose to put their constituents and their country first. The price that they have paid is to see the end of their parliamentary career, and this House is right to commend each and every one of them for the considerable courage that it took.

I am in no doubt whatsoever that it is not just the people of Broxtowe, but the people of this country who are thoroughly fed up to the back teeth with Brexit, and that is why I have the very firm view that the matter of Brexit must be brought to a conclusion. There are people in this place who will know, from the many cross-party conversations that we have had—I am proud that we have worked together across parties, putting aside our normal differences, again, in the country’s interest—that my view is that any extension should not go beyond certainly January and maybe February next year, because of the profound need that we must bring this matter to a conclusion. That is one of the reasons why I do not believe that a general election is the answer at all, because it will not solve the Brexit crisis.