Early Parliamentary General Election

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:04 pm on 28th October 2019.

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Photo of Jo Swinson Jo Swinson Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Leader of the Liberal Democrats 6:04 pm, 28th October 2019

I am responding to the previous question.

The reality of the situation is this. We have secured an extension to article 50 until 31 January. It was not automatic, not guaranteed and not given by return of email. It was deliberated and agonised over by our EU friends, and certain members of the EU were pushing very hard for there to be a very short extension of article 50. They said very clearly that there needed to be a clear purpose for article 50. If the House of Commons made it clear that the purpose would be to have a people’s vote, I would be delighted. We have been campaigning for that for three and a half years. This afternoon, I tabled an early-day motion calling again for a people’s vote. If MPs really want to demonstrate that the numbers are now there, go to the Table Office and sign it, but do not give me wishful thinking that the numbers are there when the real risk is that we could crash out on 31 January instead of 31 October. That is no better.