Prime Minister Boris Johnson Addresses Commons In Opening Speech

19 October 2019, 10:28 | Updated: 19 October 2019, 10:38

Boris Johnson addresses the House of Commons in his opening speech ahead of the Parliamentary vote to support or reject his Brexit deal.

Before he spoke, Speaker John Bercow announced that MPs would be voting on Hilary Benn and Olive Letwin's amendment, which would withhold approval for Boris Johnson's deal until the relevant legislation to enact it was safely passed.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson began addressing MPs by thanking parliamentary staff for "giving up their Saturdays" and missing the end of England's World Cup Rugby tie with Australia, telling the Commons: "I wish I could watch it myself."

He added: "I do hope that in assembling for the purposes of a meaningful vote that we will indeed be allowed to have a meaningful vote this evening."

Mr Johnson called for MPs to reconcile their differences over Brexit.

He told MPs: "The House will need no reminding that this is the second deal and the fourth vote, three-and-a-half years after the nation voted for Brexit.

"And during those years friendships have been strained, families divided and the attention of this House consumed by a single issue that has at times felt incapable of resolution.

"But I hope that this is the moment when we can finally achieve that resolution and reconcile the instincts that compete within us."

Mr Johnson spoke of the "eternal need, especially after the horrors of the last century for Britain to stand as one of the guarantors of peace and democracy in our continent."

He added: "It's precisely because we are capable of feeling both things at once, sceptical about the modes of EU integration as we are, but passionate and enthusiastic about Europe, that the whole experience of the last three and half years has been so difficult for this country and so divisive and that is why it is now so urgent for us to move on and to build a new relationship with our friends in the EU on the basis of a new deal."

Watch the full speech above.