Liberal democrat MP Christine Jardine has defended Parliament’s request for a Brexit extension, blaming the government’s “mismanagement and inefficiency” for the lengthy withdrawal process.
Speaking to talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer, the MP for Edinburgh West said: “This government has had three-and-a-half years to come up with a deal that gets through Parliament.
“The fact that Parliament said that we’re giving it until October 19 or we would like an extension so we don’t crash out – Parliament was not the problem, [it was] the government’s mismanagement, inefficiency.”
MPs voted in favour of the new Withdrawal Agreement Bill yesterday but refused a fast-tracked three-day schedule to debate it, arguing that it was not sufficient time for proper scrutiny.
Boris Johnson had wanted to push the Bill through Parliament in an accelerated time frame in order to deliver Brexit by October 31 and avoid the extension he had been forced to seek.
However, since the Commons rejected his bid to speed up proceedings, Mr Johnson has “paused” the legislation to await the decision from EU leaders on whether to grant the delay.
Ms Jardine said the Prime Minister “should have known” offering a three-day timetable would work out this way.
She continued: “The fact is, on something as important as this, to give Parliament three days, and to not realise himself that the sensible thing to do with a Bill like that is to ask for the extension.
“He should have known last week that if he gave Parliament three days to agree a deal, this would happen.”