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European Union (Withdrawal) Acts

Part of Prime Minister’s Statement – in the House of Commons at 2:19 pm on 19th October 2019.

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Photo of Michael Gove Michael Gove Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 2:19 pm, 19th October 2019

No I shall not, and no I will not—however tempting it might be, I will decline on this occasion.

The truth is that, because no deal could ever satisfy everyone, we could spend all our time searching for that elusive perfect deal, but what would that position look like to the country? What would it look like to all those who have sent us here? What would it look like to the constituents of Rebecca Long Bailey, who voted to leave and expected that vote to be honoured? They voted to put trust in this place; to put trust in Parliament to make a vital decision. If we duck that decision, if we dither and delay, I am afraid that people will feel a sense of depression, dismay and demoralisation because the Parliament that they hoped would keep its promises had chosen once again to duck its responsibilities.

I am also clear that everyone who has spoken in this debate has done so with the best of motives, including my right hon. Friend Sir Oliver Letwin, a dear and old friend of mine, but one of the things that I would say to him, and to others—