Early Parliamentary General Election

Part of Deferred Divisions – in the House of Commons at 9:17 pm on 4th September 2019.

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Photo of Bob Seely Bob Seely Conservative, Isle of Wight 9:17 pm, 4th September 2019

I have to say that I find this a surreal debate in a zombie Parliament. I have tried pinching myself to make sure that I am awake. I asked my right hon. Friend Robert Halfon whether this was a dream, and he assured me that it was not. I heard one of my colleagues saying, “Now, Bob, please make it go away.” All I can say is that people who organise a coup generally do not put that coup to the people in the form of a vote. We want a people’s vote; it is called a general election. The Government are trying to get their agenda through, but, because of the nature of this Parliament, they are not succeeding. Therefore, we need an election to ask the people what they are for, rather than simply having their representatives endlessly voting on what they are against.

I want an election because I want a Government who deliver Brexit and then, frankly, get on and govern. The Scottish islands have the special islands needs allowance. I want something similar for my Isle of Wight. I was talking about it to the Prime Minister in the Tea Room today, and he is keen to give it to us. I want the Government to cover the NHS—an extra £10 million in revenue—local government, environment, food and rural affairs, and housing. We cannot get that. For six months, we have not had a domestic agenda because of our monomaniacal obsession with Brexit.

I do not know what the Opposition parties want. Three times they have been offered a Brexit deal, and three times they have refused it. Tonight, they are being offered a general election, and tonight they are refusing it. They cling to a zombie Parliament for fear of what will happen when they go to the people. We need a new Parliament, because we need a Government with a mandate and a Parliament that votes for something positive. From now on, a collection of Opposition MPs should, frankly, be known as a shambles. We offer leadership; what they offer, God knows.