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Early Parliamentary General Election Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:35 pm on 29th October 2019.

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Photo of Oliver Dowden Oliver Dowden Paymaster General (HM Treasury), Minister of State (Cabinet Office) 5:35 pm, 29th October 2019

I should like to begin by paying tribute to all right hon. and hon. Members who have contributed to today’s debate and spoken with genuine sincerity and passion. There have been some excellent contributions, and a wide range of issues have been raised. Particularly, I would like to pay tribute to my hon. Friend Mr Seely, my hon. Friend and neighbour Mrs Main and my hon. Friends the Members for Stone (Sir William Cash) and for Sleaford and North Hykeham (Dr Johnson). All those contributions made the same point: people want to get Brexit done. They want to move on, and the only way we can do that is to ensure that we have a general election mandate to ensure that that happens. In particular, I would like to pay tribute to my right hon. Friend Mr Vaizey—sadly, he is not in his place—who gave a heartfelt and excellent speech paying tribute to this House.

I hope hon. Members appreciate that there will be further opportunities for discussion during the course of the Bill, particularly in the Committee stage that follows, so if they will forgive me, I will not go into detail on some of the points that I think will be addressed at that stage. What we really are facing today is the simplest possible Bill. It is a straightforward piece of legislation to allow a general election on 12 December so that we can elect a new Parliament, gets Brexit done and allow this country to finally move on. Let me be clear: the Government would rather be getting on with a smooth and orderly Brexit now.