Early parliamentary general election

Part of Early Parliamentary General Election Bill – in the House of Commons at 7:30 pm on 29th October 2019.

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Photo of Bill Cash Bill Cash Chair, European Scrutiny Committee, Chair, European Scrutiny Committee 7:30 pm, 29th October 2019

That is absolutely right.

Over the centuries, Parliaments have acquired their own names. For example, we have had the Barebones Parliament, the Rump Parliament and the Addled Parliament, and there has been the Mad Parliament. This Parliament ought to be called what it has now become—the Purgatory Parliament, with the shenanigans from the Opposition and from those who have been determined to remain in the European Union at any price. I have often had to upbraid them. I remember saying:

“I have heard of rats leaving a sinking ship but never of rats trying to sink a leaving ship.” —[Official Report, 18 July 2018; Vol. 645, c. 503.]

That remains on the record from some months ago. I say it again for this reason: I believe very, very strongly that it is unconscionable that we should not have this general election. We need it because, above all else, we had the referendum which was itself put into effect by virtue of this House deciding, by six to one, that it would have it. That was in the parties’ manifestos. Opposition Members voted—some of them did and a few did not—by 499 to 126 for the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017. Every single Conservative Member of Parliament, even Mr Clarke, voted for the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, which received Royal Assent on 26 June 2018.