Monday 21 October 2019 / 4:29 PM Brexit / Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn’s urgent question on the Withdrawal Agreement Bill and the PM’s extension letter

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Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party, asking an urgent question in the House of Commons on the publication of the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill and the Prime Minister’s letter to the European Council seeking an extension, said:

“I am very grateful for this Urgent Question being granted, Mr Speaker. 

“The Prime Minister has not deigned to grace us with his presence today but I’m reassured, Mr Speaker, that despite his pledge he is not to be found anywhere in a ditch.

“I would, however, like to welcome the fact the Prime Minister has sent a letter over the weekend to the EU President Donald Tusk to comply with the EU Withdrawal (No2) Act.

“Mr Speaker, as we have come to expect with this Prime Minister, this has been done with posturing and attempts to distract. But, despite having told the British public over and over again he would never do it, the letter has, in fact, been sent.

“The request is not only legally necessary and prevents us crashing out of the EU with No Deal, but the extension allows this House the space to scrutinise the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal.

“I want to pay tribute to all those members who have worked hard to ensure a No Deal Brexit is ruled out and I will continue to work across the House to ensure that this continues to be the case.

“Mr Speaker, the European Commission has confirmed today that Brussels is now considering the terms of an extension.

“Can the Secretary of State tell the House when he expects any extension to be granted?

“And can he categorically rule out the absolutely ridiculous reports yesterday that Conservative MPs are trying to amend the law to jail Members of Parliament alleged to have colluded with foreign powers?

“Does he, like me, fear for the Honourable Member for Shrewsbury and Atcham, who is telling everyone who will listen that he is trying to collude with the Polish and Hungarian governments to veto any possibility of Article 50 extensions?

“Mr Speaker, this type of nonsense is doing nobody any good at all.

“If the Prime Minister wants to get his deal through he should bring forward the Withdrawal Agreement Bill for scrutiny.

“And will he also bring forward an economic impact assessment, which has so far not seen the light of day?

“And will he allow this House ample time to scrutinise what this deal means to the communities that we all represent?”