European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:40 am on 20th December 2019.

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Photo of Boris Johnson Boris Johnson The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 9:40 am, 20th December 2019

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.

I also beg that we come together, as a new Parliament, to break the deadlock and, finally, to get Brexit done. Now is the moment, as we leave the European Union, to reunite our country, and allow the warmth and natural affection we all share for our European neighbours to find renewed expression in one great new national project of building a deep, special and democratically accountable partnership with those nations we are proud to call our closest friends. Because this Bill, and this juncture in our national story, must not be seen as a victory for one party over another or one faction over another; this is the time when we move on and discard the old labels of “leave” and “remain”. In fact, the very words seem tired to me as I speak them—as defunct as “big-enders” and “little-enders” or as “Montagues” and “Capulets” at the end of the play. Now is the time to act together as one reinvigorated nation, one United Kingdom, filled with renewed confidence in our national destiny and determined, at last, to take advantage of the opportunities that now lie before us. The whole purpose of our withdrawal agreement is to set this in motion and avoid any further delay.