We're two weeks away from the exit date. That we're going to vote today on extending that exit date, but we have to extend it for a reason. Just kicking the can down the road doesn't help anybody and probably won't be acceptable to the European Union.
So we need to focus relentlessly as a House of Commons on how we are going to come together around a way forward. The prime minister's deal, in my view, is a perfectly sensible way forward. It does involve people compromising.
It doesn't give everybody exactly what they wanted. But I can predict with a high degree of certainty that the outcome of this process is going to be that an awful lot of us are not going to get exactly what we would have wanted. But we have to be mature about this and form a compromise that the House of Commons can get behind otherwise the nation can't move forward.
Well, we're going to ask for a short extension to the end of June. But of course, there's no guarantee that the European Union will agree to that. As the prime minister said yesterday, the European Union has signalled that it will agree a short extension if we've reached agreement on a deal, we simply need time to legislate for it.
If we haven't reached agreement, it is quite possible the European Union will insist that we have a longer extension that would involve running European Parliament elections here. I think everybody agrees a suboptimal outcome, and another reason why my colleagues who voted against the government a couple of days ago need to think very, very hard about where we're headed.