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Leaving the European Union - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:16 pm on 21st January 2019.

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Photo of Lord Hannay of Chiswick Lord Hannay of Chiswick Crossbench 7:16 pm, 21st January 2019

My Lords, will the Leader of the House answer two questions arising from the Statement? First, will she recognise that the Prime Minister’s description of her inability to rule out no deal is short of veracity? Of course she is right that we need the help of the EU 27 to do so, but she could perfectly well say that, as far as it was in the power of the Government, she intended to do everything possible to avoid no deal, instead of touting out that ridiculous “no deal’s better than a bad deal”.

Secondly, I was interested to hear what the Statement said about the consequences of a prolongation. How are the Prime Minister and the Government quite so sure that we would be compelled to have a European election in May? Has she perhaps been talking to the 27 about this possibility already? That is the only way to be sure. There are actually quite different options, one of which would be to leave the existing Members of the European Parliament there until we had made our decision.