Iain Duncan Smith: MPs should debate 'non-stop' until Brexit passes

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Former Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith has urged MPs to “go round the clock” in order to get Brexit legislation through Parliament and allow the UK to leave the EU by October 31.

The government will this week attempt to fast-track debate in the Commons for Boris Johnson’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill in order to meet the Halloween deadline.

Many MPs have criticised the move, arguing that three days is not enough time for proper scrutiny of the Bill – a 110 page document with 124 further pages of explanatory notes.

But Mr Duncan Smith told MPs “don’t count the days, count the hours”.

Speaking to talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley Brewer, the former Conservative Party leader said: “We should, if necessary, just continue to debate this thing non-stop until we complete it.”

He added: “I don’t see why we should have any time off whatsoever until this thing is completed – and the same goes for the House of Lords.”

Mr Duncan Smith accused some MPs of having an “ulterior motive” in tabling “wrecking amendments” that he said were created in an attempt to “destroy the Bill”.

Fellow Conservative, Damian Green MP, agreed, saying he expected to continue the debate into “ungodly hours of the morning”.

He told Julia the government had given “quite a lot of time” and argued: “Surely, instead of arguing about how long we’re going spend about talking about it, we should talk about it”.

However, Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake said the tight deadline for tabling amendments was "frankly unaccaptable", while Labour's Barry Sheerman said MPs want "sensible scrutiny", fearing a "secret agenda"by the government.

Meanwhile, SNP MP Drew Hendry called for an extension to Article 50, telling talkRADIO his party wanted to “get this deal off the table one way of another” because it “uniquely disadvantages Scotland”.

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