Early Parliamentary General Election

Part of Deferred Divisions – in the House of Commons at 8:45 pm on 4th September 2019.

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Photo of Nigel Evans Nigel Evans Conservative, Ribble Valley 8:45 pm, 4th September 2019

What this House did today clearly was to weaken the negotiating position of the Prime Minister. We all know that Michel Barnier and the European Union listen very carefully to this Parliament; in fact some MPs in this Parliament have a direct line to Michel Barnier and Juncker and Tusk. They are in fairly well daily contact with them sometimes—[Interruption]. There is one over there. And we know what they are saying: they are saying, “Don’t give in to the British Prime Minister because we can resist Brexit.” And that is what is going to happen.

We know that the British Prime Minister is already in discussions with people such as Angela Merkel and various others within the European Union to ensure that the problems that existed in the old deal are removed, but the Bill that was passed tonight gives the European Union no incentive whatever to come to the negotiating table and to have a proper negotiation.

The Liberal Democrats are at least honest, as are the Scottish nationalists, in saying that they do not wish to leave the European Union. However, given that we have had the referendum and the people have voted to leave, I just wonder which part of “Liberal Democrat” is actually “democrat”, because they clearly are not interested in what the British people voted for in 2016. They ask for a second vote, but what we are offering tonight is a general election, and that can be a second vote. The people will look at the policies of the Labour party under its current leader and at the policies of my party under its current leader, and they will decide whether the Prime Minister or the Leader of the Opposition should go to Brussels for that negotiation on 17 October.

Part of the problem, as we all know, is that during the 2016 referendum three quarters of the Members in this Chamber voted to remain in the European Union. They do not want to leave the European Union, and they will do anything that they possibly can to frustrate our leaving.