EU Customs Union

Part of Petition - Tenancy of ST Michael’S Gate, Parnwell – in the House of Commons at 7:30 pm on 2nd November 2016.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Robin Walker Robin Walker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 7:30 pm, 2nd November 2016

I think both the Republic of Ireland in its communications with the EU and we in ours are very clear about the value we place on that common travel area, which existed long before the membership of the two countries to the EU. We have been clear in saying this is not necessarily a completely easy issue; it is an issue that will require some work, but we are determined to do that work and make sure we can make this work. I hope that answers the hon. Gentleman’s question.

We must also consider carefully the position of the Crown dependencies and the UK’s overseas territories. Just today, I have met in a joint ministerial council with the overseas territories and the chief Ministers of the Crown dependencies to hear their views. There are some interesting examples. Gibraltar, for instance, has benefited from the UK’s membership of the EU but has not been part of the customs union to date.

I welcome this debate as part of the scrutiny of the Government’s position by this House. That is an important process and the information the hon. Lady and others have brought forward can certainly be taken into account as part of our analysis. I also look forward to Monday’s debate on exiting the EU and workers’ rights. That is an important aspect of our policy, and the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union has been very clear about our determination to protect workers’ rights. That debate will be another opportunity for the House to discuss the important issues in relation to our exit from the European Union.

In summary, the Government fully recognise the importance of the question of a customs union with the EU in the context of our future relationship. It is a complex, multi-faceted issue, and we are analysing carefully all the options available to us with the aim of securing the best outcome for the UK as a whole.

Question put and agreed to.

House adjourned.