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[2nd day]

Part of European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 3:06 pm on 1st February 2017.

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Photo of Mike Gapes Mike Gapes Labour/Co-operative, Ilford South 3:06 pm, 1st February 2017

I arrived in the House with my hon. Friend Jim Dowd 25 years ago. I am delighted to be sitting on the Bench with him today, and I am delighted to say that I agree with every word he said— which gives me four minutes in which to talk about other things.

President Donald made a very important statement yesterday—President Donald Tusk, that is. Donald Tusk pointed to the threats that face Europe: the threats from Russia, the threats posed by climate change, and the threats from across the Atlantic, from the other Donald. I suspect that if this situation had arisen before the referendum, we might have seen a different result. More and more people in this country are realising that we need our European partnership, and that this is not the time to be leaving the co-operation of European foreign and security policy, not the time to be leaving the European Defence Agency, and not the time to be leaving that co-operation with our European partners.