tv British House of Commons Passes Bill Blocking No- Deal Brexit CSPAN September 9, 2019 12:01am-12:29am EDT
wednesday is the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. watch our coverage at 8:30 a.m. on c-span3 from the 9/11 memorial plaza. the moment of silence, the reading of the names and the ringing of the bell. pentagon,m. from the a ceremony at the 9/11 memorial. coverage of the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on and online at3, c-span.org or listen on the free c-span radio app. on wednesday, the house of commons debated a bill that would block the u.k. from leaving the european union without an agreement called a no deal brexit. the bill passed with a vote of 327 to 299.
do no better than to quote the right honorable member who on the third of april in the house said it could only be done at high speed because there is no time left. i think wherever we stand on this issue, we know there is little time left and there is even less time that would have been available previously. other,we will treat each recognizing we have strong views, with respect and consideration. the purpose of the bill is simple. it is to ensure the united kingdom does not leave the european union on the 31st of october without an agreement. the bill has wide cross party support. it is a pleasure to be above the
and is backed by members who have very different views on how the matter of brexit should finally be resolved, including members who were senior members of the cabinet. -- could describe it as it as an unlikely alliance. what unites us is a conviction those no mandate for no deal and the consequences for the economy and our country would be damaging. those supporting the bill believe no deal is not in the national interest. deal,n he talks about no there are multiple deals. does he see those as being multiple deals in their own right? >> i don't know where those
deals are. is the prime minister is prepared to leave on the 31st of october without a deal. that to happen. >> would he agree in a sense are learning lessons from this and in this process people i've changed their minds. one of the amendments today is to give people another look at proposalight call the that people turned it down but , had they haden the experience they have now, they might have voted
differently. with all the rush that has happened, has he had a chance to look at that amendment by my hasrable friend which now ?uite a large amount of support >> i have not had a chance to read the final version. i am aware of the intention of the amendment and i understand what my honorable friends are trying to achieve. we cannot continue to delay taking a decision. i will listen to the debate that follows during the committee stage. i would say the bill is deliberately open as to the purpose of the extension. it provides the framework for reporting and debate. by members who
have already voted for deal and would vote for one again. is important we focus on the purpose, which is to prevent a no deal brexit and to keep the coalition together. i have more to say about that when we come to the end. i will give way. >> thank you very much. does the right honorable gentlemen believe the matter of such importance, irrespective of speed at which this is being done, should be dealt with ultimately in the context of the general election? >> there may well be a general election at some point. but this legislation, in my view, needs to be passed, needs to go through committee and get royal assent and needs to be given effect. in other words, we must, in my opinion, secure the extension to
article 50. otherwise, there is a risk the election would result in us leaving without a deal which as it may turn out at 7:00 tonight is not what the house of commons wants and we should respect the view of the house of commons. i will give way. >> i'm grateful for you giving way. if this bill does pass and it's given royal assent, can you think of any other reason why the labour party would not accept a general election? >> i think i've just explained the reason. it's been made clear by the late leader of the labour party and others, because we must deal with first things first. preventing a no deal brexit is the central most important question facing us today. >> i'm very grateful to my honorable friend to allowing me to intervene. the reality is, an election at this stage or even next week undermines the statute and we cannot support it. >> i can only agree and i'm very grateful to the honorable gentleman for being one of the
sponsors of the bill. i will take one more intervention because many people want to speak, and time is short. >> i'm grateful. can i applaud his call for respect on both sides because we need to calm down this whole debate. i voted for the deal twice. he voted against the deal three times presumably because he thought it was not in the best interest of this country. so how does he think this procedure of delaying an agreement further is going to produce an offer from the eu that might actually tempt him into voting something because it's even in the better interest of the u.k. than all that's gone before. how can that possibly come about from this procedure? >> the reason why i voted against the deal three times is not really to do with the withdrawal agreement. it was to do with the nature of the political declaration and the absolute lack of clarity about where the then prime minister wanted to take the country. that's my view, and other members have got different views.
if i could bring this back. i'm not going to give way further at this point. i have been reasonably generous, and i am conscious of the time. the evidence before us about no deal, it's important we acknowledge that, because it is the fundamental reason behind the bill. as we heard from my right honorable friend from castle ford when she moved her bill earlier this year, it was reported that the cabinet secretary and the national security advisor had told the previous cabinet that no deal would make our country less safe. now, if the national security adviser says that to the cabinet, we have to pay attention. all of us have seen the government's own economic assessment makes it clear that no deal would cause the greatest loss to the economy. we know the body that represents british manufacturing industry has described no deal as an act of economic vandalism.
since we last debate of the question of an extension, new information is come to light about the consequences that no deal that government itself has now admitted it would be detrimental to companies because they are prepared to compensate certain businesses and industries. they acknowledge it will do economic damage. operation yellow hammer, the report that was published in the sunday times, talked about the potential for protests, for significant delays, and we heard very powerful evidence on that subject only this morning in the brexit select committee. the potential impact on medicine, decrease in the supply of fresh fruits and price rises, impact on petrol refineries, huge uncertainty for businesses, serious damage to farmers, and in some ways, given the progress northern ireland has made in the
last 20 years, it has expressed the view that the current open border between northern ireland and the republic could be unsustainable because of economic, legal, and buyer security risks. i will give way to my honorable friend. >> he made the point about security. is he aware we repeatedly have heard in the home affairs committee from senior police officers and security officials about the devastating impact of a no deal brexit? we hear unilateral security measures. they are not in place. we keep hearing from others who would exploit our national security. >> i agree with my honorable friend completely. it's one of the many unanswered questions about what happens to the other side? that's a point we will come back to later on. i give way. >> can i just say that members
of the party made comments in the media and he, i think said earlier that this bill stops no deal. can we be clear that this bill does not stop no deal, it prolongs the date before we leave? the likelihood is, unless something dramatically changes, we will be exactly at this point a few weeks before the new deadline. the only way to stop no deal is to revoke article 50. that's really what members of his side of the house want to happen. they should be honest. >> i would say to the honorable gentleman that if someone says you can jump off a cliff with all of the damaging consequences in a couple of weeks time or we could put it off for three months, which would you like? i think the sensible course of action given the damage it would do to the country is to put it off. i accept that we ultimately need to find a way forward. i have my own views as to others as to how that should be done, but that is not the purpose of this bill today although it
would provide for a framework within which the government can decide what it will do. >> three independent, highly respected bodies, they have written an open letter to all the mps setting out that there will be significant damage to health care services from a no deal. and more importantly, to people who depend on them. >> i agree with the honorable lady, and i would simply say and other members will have lots of other experience of the potential consequences -- these are not risks that i think we should take with our economy. these are our livelihoods, and jobs, our health, and i hope they will mind that in the house today that with all the focus on process in motion and procedure, this is about the impact that a no deal brexit would have on the lives of the people we represent.
i will, of course, give way. >> i thank the honorable gentleman. isn't that the point, that while i can understand there is a political imperative to get this done, or to move on, the practical imperative is that no deal does not allow us to move on. it resolves nothing. it leads to many implications that he talked about and if we have no deal on 31st of october, we have to in november seek a withdrawal agreement. >> the gentleman is absolutely right. in a lot of this debate, we haven't discussed anything like that to what happens to the other side on the 31st of october if the prime minister is able to get his way. i will come to that point in a moment. i will give way. >> he plans to prolong no damage
as far as the 31st of january. the current deal we've got will damage the funding. the best way to stop any damage at all is to revoke article 50. i have written an amendment to that. it needs the prime minister's signature. and then this nightmare is over. >> i disagree, respectfully, with the honorable gentleman, because just as no deal is unacceptable in my opinion, i think revocation to cancel the whole result and referendum is not acceptable either. i have expressed previously in the house my view about how we should resolve this by going back to the people, but other members have different views and that is not the issue. i will give way. >> i'm particularly grateful to the right honorable gentleman in which he is chairing the brexit select committee and taking this
vital evidence. isn't that really the point? this is precisely the sort of work that should be done. questions should be asked, and this place should be making sure that we are ready for no deal and yet what we are seeing is we are being closed down next week when in fact we should be sitting, asking the questions and his committee and others should be able to do that valuable work. >> you are absolutely right. one of the consequences is that committees can be. we cannot scrutinize the government. >> exactly. >> does the honorable gentleman agree that it would be surprising that there are to be those in his house and no more about making cars than those and make cars, more about building planes than those who build planes, more about engineering than the engineers, and that the simple truth is, the overwhelming and unmistakable voice of the world work industry and all the employers
organizations and the trade unions is that a no deal brexit would have catastrophic consequences with tens of thousands of workers losing their jobs, making our country a poorer country in every sense of the word for years to come. >> my honorable friend makes a powerful point, and those industries and sectors and we have all met them, are troubled that the message that comes from their expertise and knowledge, they are the people creating the wealth in the country, and it's not being heard by a government that says we are prepared to leave with no deal on the 31st of october. my honorable friend is in the room next door to me, and i will give way and then i will make progress. >> thank you for giving way. i received a letter from the northeast this morning from the
england chamber of commerce. they say over the last three years, we have been clear and consistent preserving the trading conditions and relationship we currently enjoy it with the eu ought to be the primary objective of any brexit outcome. the government's willingness to embrace no deal without an acceptable end to the agreement flies in the face of this. they say is a disastrous outcome for the northeast of england. do these comments not prove that the bill is an absolute necessity? >> i think they absolutely do. it concluded a reflection on other consequences of no deal, i want to turn to what the bill actually does. it intends to stop this happening by seeking the extension to article 50 in certain very specific circumstances. it's important to understand that the bill allows the prime minister the opportunity to
reach a new agreement with the european union at the european council and to seek parliament's consent. that is condition one. it also allows the government to bring a motion to the house of commons to seek our consent for leaving without a deal. if discussions with the european council proved unsuccessful. i think the government would find it difficult to get such a motion through the house of commons but the bill allows us to do that. clause one specifically provides for those eventualities and if either of those conditions is met, then there can be no further extension. if, however, neither of these conditions have been met by the 19th of october, chosen today deliberately, it is the day after the conclusion of the european council, then the prime minister must ask the eu for a further extension until the 31st of january 2020 in the form of a
letter set up in the schedule to the bill. clause three deals with what happens next. if the european council exceeds that request, then the prime minister must agree to it. if however counsel proposes an extension to a different date, and the prime minister must agree to that as well unless the house of commons decides not to pass the motion agreeing to it. that's what subsection three does. it has been wrongly claimed that the eu could propose an extension of any length, six months, 20 years, a millennium, and the prime minister would be required to accept it. not so. in those circumstances, the house could decide. furthermore, if a deal is reached after the prime minister has asked for an extension, then it would override an extension . so it also allows him, if he
can, to reach a deal after the european council concludes on the 18th of october. in other words, the bill gives the prime minister the flexibility that he wants and needs to get a deal if he can. what it does not render further negotiation pointless. it seems to me is if the prime minister refuses to put together any proposals, which is an odd state of affairs. of course, i will give way. clause 32 is very clear that the period of two days begins with the end of the day of the day on which the european council decision is made. decision is made. we were told very clearly during proceedings on the change of date after the two previous
occasions that the government accepted an extension that we were merely implementing a decision that was already made in european community law. what his proposal depends upon is the european union making a conditional offer that only comes into force if they choose to make it conditional on subsequent approval by the house of commons. he has no way of binding the european union's procedures by domestic piece of legislation. >> the purpose of that is if the bill is passed, it will pass in the knowledge it is seeking in the circumstances for an extension to the 31st of january. if, however, the european union proposes a different date, it seems to be only right and proper that the prime minister should be able to say that's fine by me or i will need to go back and check.
i agree with the right honorable gentleman that of course we cannot bind to the european union in the way in which it seeks to work, and it's not on all unusual for member states to say we need to go back and check with our parliament. i'm certain, given the importance of this issue that the european union would be able to find another procedure which might involve the european council meeting again to confirm the decision that it made in making the offer in the first place. the second point i would make is that two days is precisely to give the prime minister the chance to come back to the house. >> thank you for giving way. this bill doesn't stop no deal, it postpones it essentially. it makes it virtually impossible for our prime minister to negotiate. therefore, it is a political bill. actually, it tells the european
union that if they don't choose to negotiate and give us a better deal, what they will instead get is the opportunity to offer an extension of the path for this house to take. >> i have dealt with the last point, because every day, there is a means of the government asking the house not to approve this. the house would have to decide if what has been offered by the european union, but i don't accept the premise that this somehow undermines the prime minister's negotiating ability. i am responding, if you will just bear with me. because i don't myself regard the threat of a no deal brexit as part of a credible negotiation strategy. the previous prime minister spent nearly two years saying no
deal and it did not seem to work then and i don't think it will work now. i will give way one more time. >> if the eu came back and offered a 10 year, it would be the decision between a 10 year extension, no deal he attempts to avoid. >> that is not the case. could ask the prime minister to go back in those circumstances. if the extension is to the 31st of january, we are prepared to accept it. so only if he does not get the deal does it prevent the prime minister from taking a side the eu without an agreement. i will give way one more time. >> article 53 says we leave
after two years unless the european council decides to extend. there is no obligation for the european union to decide to make a conditional offer. they can't decide. the bill requires the prime minister under those circumstances to accept the terms on offer. that is it. so this is back to the eu. i do not agree with that. and there is no guarantee that a further request for another extension will be granted by the eu. we all recognize that. it only takes one mistake from state fromer
the eu to say they are not giving the u.k. further extensions for us to be in greater difficulty than we are. announcer: the house of commons debated and defeated a motion for the general election for the u.k. 298 in favor of the election. a two thirds majority is required for the motion to pass. here is the debate on the measure. this is 90 minutes. >> the general has made his own point in his own way. it is on the record. i think the ayes have it. general election to move the motion and call the prime minister. >> the house of commons has passed a bill devised by the leader of the opposition who i