To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will make it his policy to obtain agreement from the EU to an extension of the Article 50 period to enable (a) public and (b) parliamentary consideration of the outcome of the National Crime Agency investigation into possible collusion between prominent Leave campaigners and the Russian Government during the 2016 referendum campaign.
To date, we have not seen evidence of successful interference in UK democratic processes, but we are not complacent. We know that certain states routinely use disinformation and other means as a foreign policy tool, and have seen evidence of this happening elsewhere. The Government has taken steps to ensure that there is a coordinated structure across all relevant UK authorities to defend against interference in British politics whether by Russia, or any other state.
We treat the integrity and security of our democratic processes extremely seriously. The EU referendum provisions were carefully scrutinised and ratified by Parliament. In line with the precedent for referendums, there was a six week period in which the formal result and administration of the EU Referendum could be challenged by judicial review.
The Electoral Commission is an independent organisation and its investigations are a matter for it alone. We must now allow the National Crime Agency space to proceed with a thorough investigation of this matter and I will not be commenting further on a live investigation.
17.4 million people voted to leave the EU and that mandate should be respected.