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Brexit - Motion to Take Note

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 10:00 pm on 25th March 2019.

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Photo of Lord Callanan Lord Callanan Minister of State (Department for Exiting the European Union) 10:00 pm, 25th March 2019

The statutory instrument has already been laid. It reflects the decision of the European Council, so both potential dates are included as options, depending on whether the meaningful vote is approved—not necessarily tomorrow but this week. That was the decision laid down by the Council and agreed to by the Prime Minister.

In response to the questions asked by my noble friend Lord Hailsham and the noble Baroness, Lady Ludford, no deal remains the legal default at 11 pm on 12 April, if that is where we end up. The Prime Minister was simply stating that Parliament is likely to intervene to prevent no deal, if a deal has not been agreed by then. This is in line with her comments on 26 February, when she told the House of Commons:

“So the United Kingdom will only leave without a deal on 29 March if there is explicit consent in this House for that outcome”.—[Official Report, Commons, 26/2/19; col. 166.]