Brexit: Date of Exit - Private Notice Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:36 am on 14th March 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Smith of Basildon Baroness Smith of Basildon Shadow Leader of the House of Lords, Shadow Spokesperson (Northern Ireland), Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 11:36 am, 14th March 2019

My Lords, we are back to that parallel universe I referred to a few minutes ago. I ask the Minister about a no-deal Brexit and his answer is about the extension of Article 50.

This has been an extraordinary parliamentary week. On Tuesday, the Prime Minister was again defeated on her unchanged agreement with the EU. Last night, MPs rejected leaving the EU without a deal, and the Prime Minister has now to accept that she does not have the full support of her Government, or even her Cabinet. This House has also emphatically rejected no deal. Yet, in an extraordinary, intransigent speech which followed the defeat in the Commons, Mrs May appeared to want to ignore Parliament.

We are spending a great deal of time, energy and money—millions, if not billions of pounds—on preparing for a no-deal failure. One parliamentary recess has already been cancelled, and there is serious talk of longer, later and more sittings—including on Saturdays. There are even reports that the Prime Minister intends to run down the clock further to try and get her twice-rejected deal through. She is acting like the cruel parent who, when the child will not eat its dinner, serves up the same plate of cold food day after day until they are forced to accept the unwanted, the unpalatable and the dangerous.

My question, which I would have expected the noble Baroness the Leader of the House to answer, but which I put to the Minister, is: in order to give effect to what Parliament has now agreed, and to end this dreadful waste of resources and the irresponsibility that goes with it, when will the Government bring forward the necessary legislation to prevent a no-deal exit?