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[1st Day]

Part of Debate on the Address – in the House of Commons at 5:37 pm on 21st June 2017.

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Photo of Tim Farron Tim Farron Leader of the Liberal Democrats 5:37 pm, 21st June 2017

The short and blindingly obvious answer is yes. The fact that no savings were made in the security services’ funding whatsoever is testament to that, as is the fact that we have in my right hon. Friend Norman Lamb the person who has done most in living memory to advance mental health in this country from a Government Bench.

As is very clear from recent statements and from the Gracious Speech, the Prime Minister has sought to pursue, and continues to seek to pursue, an extreme version of Brexit, having failed to gain any mandate to do so. There is, as the right hon. and learned Member for Rushcliffe mentioned, no plan to keep Britain in the single market or the customs union. We will therefore seek to amend the Queen’s Speech to add membership of the single market and the customs union. We are pleased to hear that 50 colleagues from the Labour party take a similar view, believing that we should be members of the single market. Access to the single market is a nonsense; many countries around the world have access to the single market. I could be wrong, but I think North Korea has access to the single market. The issue is: are we members of that market?

The right hon. and learned Member for Rushcliffe pointed out earlier that apparently we all believe in free trade now. Do not believe what people say; believe what they do. People may say, “We are in favour of free trade now,” but if they vote in these Lobbies in the coming weeks and months for us not to be members of the single market—and therefore not just to rip up our biggest free trade deal, which is with the largest and most valuable economy on the planet, but, as a consequence, to rip up the deals that we have at second hand with North Korea and the rest of it—they are not free traders.