Prime Minister’s Questions: 13th December 2017

Anna Soubry (Broxtowe) (Con)
The Prime Minister and I have many things in common, including, if I may say so, being proud of being called “bloody difficult women”. My right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Beaconsfield (Mr Grieve) is not in that category, for many reasons. He is, obviously, a man. He is a respected, seasoned parliamentarian and, like many on these Benches, has for many decades been loyal to his party. Nobody wants to be disloyal or to bring about more disunity. The Prime Minister says that she wants a meaningful vote on Brexit before we leave the European Union. Even at this last moment, will she be so good as to accept my right hon. and learned Friend’s amendment 7, in the spirit of unity for everybody here and in the country?

The Prime Minister
My right hon. Friend makes an important point on the concerns Members have had about having a meaningful vote on this particular issue before we complete the deal. As I set out in the answer I gave to my right hon. Friend the Member for Chesham and Amersham (Mrs Gillan), that is what we will have. We will ensure that there is a meaningful vote in this House. There will then, of course, be an opportunity for Parliament to look at the withdrawal agreement and implementation Bill. The fact that there will be that meaningful vote has been set out and confirmed by my right hon. Friend the Brexit Secretary in a written ministerial statement today. We were very clear that we will not commence any statutory instruments until that meaningful vote has taken place, but as currently drafted what the amendment says is that we should not put any of those arrangements and statutory instruments into place until the withdrawal agreement and implementation Bill has reached the statute book. That could be at a very late stage in the proceedings, which could mean we are not able to have the orderly and smooth exit from the European Union that we wish to have.