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European Union (Withdrawal) Acts

Part of Prime Minister’s Statement – in the House of Commons at 12:49 pm on 19th October 2019.

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Photo of Oliver Letwin Oliver Letwin Independent, West Dorset 12:49 pm, 19th October 2019

I beg to move amendment (a), in motion 1, leave out from “with a deal,” to end and add

“this House has considered the matter but withholds approval unless and until implementing legislation is passed.”

Amendment (a) has been tabled in my name and those of many other right hon. and hon. Members, and I do not need to detain the House for long. The purpose of the amendment, as has been said in several interventions and speeches, is to keep in place the insurance policy provided by the Benn Act that prevents us from automatically crashing out if no deal is in place by 31 October.

When the Prime Minister brings his implementing legislation to this House next week, I will vote for it, but we all know that the votes on that legislation, throughout its passage, will be tight. The Prime Minister has a strategy—I fully accept that, and I accept that it is rational in its own terms—and it is that he wants to be able to say to any waverers, “It is my deal or no deal. Vote for the implementing legislation, or we crash out.” I understand that strategy, but we cannot be sure that such a threat would work.