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Brexit: Preparations - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:11 pm on 21st October 2019.

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Photo of Lord Callanan Lord Callanan Minister of State (Department for Exiting the European Union) 7:11 pm, 21st October 2019

It is extremely difficult to say. However, the noble Lord is well experienced in parliamentary matters. The previous referendum, I think I am correct in saying, took about seven or eight months in total to get through the various Houses and their procedures and to take place. That was with a Government with a majority and a manifesto commitment to do it, so we can draw our own conclusions as to how long it would take to get referendum legislation through when this Government will manifestly not introduce that legislation. There is clearly no majority in either House for it and no agreement on what the question should be, or the franchise or the rules governing it. Many Members who are much more experienced in the workings of the House of Commons than I am have estimated that it could take even longer than that.