Leaving the European Union — [James Gray in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:52 pm on 1st April 2019.

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Photo of Catherine McKinnell Catherine McKinnell Labour, Newcastle upon Tyne North 4:52 pm, 1st April 2019

The hon. Lady makes the point well. There are people who think that the radical approach of democratically asking the public what they think would unleash an almighty backlash and all sorts of dangerous extremism, but I say to them that such extremism clearly exists already. We saw it on the streets of London on Friday and I am certainly not prepared to roll over and appease it.

However, there is always the prospect that the Prime Minister will refuse to change her approach and that she will lurch ever closer to 12 April with the threat of our crashing out of the EU still with us. That brings me to the third e-petition that we are considering today, which calls for article 50 to be revoked and for the UK to remain in the EU.

As hon. Members will be aware, this petition has been supported by an unprecedented number of people, although that is not surprising, because we live in unprecedented times. Indeed, this is most signed petition ever received on the petitions website of the House of Commons and the Government. As of 3.30 pm today, it had received a staggering 6,034,845 signatures, over 26,000 of which come from my city of Newcastle.