Power to notify withdrawal from the EU

Part of European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:21 pm on 13th March 2017.

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Photo of Anna Soubry Anna Soubry Conservative, Broxtowe 5:21 pm, 13th March 2017

Northern Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman needs no lessons on my support for the efforts and work of Northern Ireland Members. The real danger that we face is the cliff edge and, as a result, the hard border in Ireland that none of us wants.

In two years’ time, things might well have changed remarkably in this country, not just politically but economically. Economically, having had the buoyancy of a devalued pound and people actually spending on the basis of their savings, inflation might then have kicked in and we could find that our economy was no longer in the fine fettle that it appears to be now. Politically, we could be facing great harm in every way possible through the break-up of the Union, with the Scots going their own way following a referendum and, tragically for Northern Ireland, with talk of a united Ireland or a breakdown of the peace that has lasted for some years. In the light of that, all the options must remain open for us to debate and decide upon. We could, for example, decide to restore the free movement of labour and consider the benefits of the single market, which would solve the problem for Northern Ireland and for Scotland.