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Early Parliamentary General Election (No. 2)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:40 pm on 9th September 2019.

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Photo of Jo Swinson Jo Swinson Leader of the Liberal Democrats 11:40 pm, 9th September 2019

Thank you, Mr Speaker. I appreciate that others in the House would like the Liberal Democrats to be silenced, but that will not happen on my watch, because we are crystal clear on Brexit. We want to stop Brexit, and that is why thousands of people across the country are joining the Liberal Democrats, including MPs from both the Labour and the Conservative parties.

Whether it is votes in this House or ministerial colleagues, the Prime Minister is making a habit of losing. Although I believe that a people’s vote is the best route to resolve this, I say to the Prime Minister that he can have his general election as soon as he secures an extension. Otherwise, we risk the scenario of a general election where we might crash out of the European Union without a deal either during or in the immediate aftermath of such an election and with Parliament not sitting at those crucial moments. It would be the height of irresponsibility to dissolve Parliament at that time. Any general election must be undertaken in a period of calm, with an orderly approach, not in a period of national crisis.

The Prime Minister is playing at this. In his speech tonight, he made it sound like this was sport—like this was a game. This is not a student debating society. This is about the national interest and being sure that we avoid the risk of a no-deal Brexit, and that is why we will vote down his motion tonight.