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Debate: leaving the EU

28 March 2019

On Monday 1 April, MPs will debate three petitions about leaving the EU



The Committee has decided to have a single debate on three petitions relating to leaving the EU that had reached 100,000 signatures because it wanted to ensure they were debated as soon as possible, so they would be less likely to be overtaken by events. The petition to “Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU” is the most signed petition ever received on the House of Commons and Government petitions site.

Read the petition and the Government response: Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU

Read the petition and the Government response: Hold a second referendum on EU membership

Read the petition and the Government response: Parliament must honour the Referendum result. Leave deal or no deal 29/03/19


Timing of debate

The debate will start at 4.30pm and be opened by Catherine McKinnell MP, a member of the Petitions Committee.


Why are these petitions being debated?

The Petitions Committee has the power to schedule debates on e-petitions in the House of Commons Second Chamber, Westminster Hall.

In deciding which petitions should be debated, it takes into account how many people have signed the petition, the topicality of the issue raised, whether the issue has recently been debated in Parliament, and the breadth of interest among MPs.


What will the petition debate achieve?

Debates on petitions in Westminster Hall are general debates about the issues raised by the petition.

MPs can discuss the petition and, if they wish, ask questions about the Government's position on the issue or press the Government to take action.

A Government Minister takes part in the debate and answers the points raised.

These debates help to raise the profile of a campaign and could influence decision-making in Government and Parliament.

Petition debates in Westminster Hall cannot directly change the law or result in a vote to implement the request of the petition.

Creating new laws, or changing existing ones, can only be done through the parliamentary legislative process which involves a number of debates, and detailed consideration of the law in draft, in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

This process is normally started by the Government, although there are some ways in which individual MPs or members of the House of Lords who are not in the Government (known as "backbenchers") can ask Parliament to consider new laws.


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