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Prime Minister makes pledge to Julian Lewis MP over Brexit date

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Julian Lewis, Conservative MP for New Forest East
Julian Lewis, Conservative MP for New Forest East

THE prime minister gave assurances to New Forest East MP Julian Lewis that the UK will quit the EU on 29th March next year.

Dr Lewis sought a guarantee from Theresa May, during a debate in the House of Commons yesterday, that the government would stick to the Brexit timetable.

The Conservative MP said: “Will the Prime Minister give reassurance to those of us in this house and in the country who voted to leave the European Union that under no circumstances will she recommend or agree to any alteration in the exit date of 29th March next year?”

Mrs May responded: “I am happy to give that reassurance. We are leaving the European Union on 29th March 2019.”

Dr Lewis later asked immigration minister Caroline Nokes whether she shared his “surprise” at press reports suggesting that, after Brexit, EU citizens in the United Kingdom would be offered voting rights in parliamentary elections.

He pressed: “Will she confirm that that is not going to happen?”

She replied: “EU citizens currently have the right to vote in local elections and that will prevail until there is a change in primary legislation. However, such matters are for future discussion and negotiation, and I cannot set them out today.”

Dr Lewis’s interventions came a few days before a 20,000-person national opinion poll by Survation on behalf of Channel 4 showed 54% were now in favour of remaining in the EU, compared to 48% in the 2016 referendum.

A modelled breakdown for the New Forest estimated sentiment was still in favour of Leave, although having dropped from 58% to 54%. In Christchurch the projected Leave vote shrank from 59% to 55%.

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