Preparations for Leaving the EU

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:21 pm on 8th October 2019.

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Photo of Michael Gove Michael Gove Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 2:21 pm, 8th October 2019

I am grateful, as ever, for the thoughtful tone in which the right hon. Gentleman asks his questions. I am also grateful for the opportunity, which I hope I will have, to appear in front of his Committee to discuss in detail some of the provisions within the document. We take a different view on the Act that bears his name. I think it weakens the UK Government’s position. He in all conscience believes that it strengthens the UK’s position, but we disagree on that. It is of course possible, for a host of reasons, that we might leave on 31 October without a deal, and it is prudent that this Government—and indeed the Scottish Government and the Welsh Assembly Government, led by Labour—are preparing for that, because that eventuality is a realisable and potential outcome. In the meantime, I am anxious to secure a deal. I argued that we should leave the European Union without a deal, but if it is impossible to leave the European Union without a deal, then, much though I regret it, we have to leave.[This section has been corrected on 16 October 2019, column 4MC — read correction]