Leaving without a Deal

Exiting the European Union – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th September 2017.

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Photo of Hannah Bardell Hannah Bardell Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Trade and Investment) 12:00 am, 7th September 2017

What recent assessment he has made of the potential effect on (a) the economy and (b) employment levels of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

Photo of Steven Baker Steven Baker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

A future partnership between the UK and the EU is in the interests of both sides, and I am confident that we will secure a good deal for the UK as a whole. A responsible Government, however, should prepare for all potential outcomes, including the unlikely scenario in which no mutually satisfactory agreement can be reached. The Government are undertaking a comprehensive programme of analytical work across a range of scenarios to assess the economic impacts of exiting the EU. As the House has agreed twice, however, we will not be publishing any information that would prejudice our negotiations.

Photo of Hannah Bardell Hannah Bardell Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Trade and Investment)

The CBI president, Paul Drechsler, has said that the implications of falling back on to World Trade Organisation rules and a no-deal scenario would open up a

“Pandora’s box of economic consequences” and that the UK could face tariffs on 90% of its EU exports by value. Will the Minister reassure business, therefore, that the UK will not walk away from these negotiations with no deal?

Photo of Steven Baker Steven Baker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

It is our intention to do what is in all our interests—the mutual interest of all the nations of the EU and the UK—which is to secure a deep and special partnership, including a broad and deep free trade agreement, and I look forward to doing so. I think, however, that the WTO is one of the great achievements of liberalism against the forces of economic nationalism, and I look forward, in whatever circumstances we leave, to the UK playing the fullest part in the improvement and development of the WTO.

Photo of Desmond Swayne Desmond Swayne Conservative, New Forest West

I hope that the Minister still believes that no deal is better than a bad deal.

Photo of Steven Baker Steven Baker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

I agree with my right hon. Friend and refer him to what the Chancellor famously said on “Marr”: what we cannot do is accept some kind of punishment deal. An environment in which the UK trades with the world while having control of our own tariffs, taxes and domestic regulation is one of which we should not be afraid.

Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Labour, East Ham

Does it remain Ministers’ ambition to secure barrier-free access for the UK to the European single market, and is not the only way to enjoy the benefits of the single market to comply with the rules of the single market?

Photo of Steven Baker Steven Baker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

We recognise that the freedoms of the single market are indivisible and that the people of this country wish for Parliament to set its own laws and for a UK migration policy that meets with their democratic consent. It is the ambition of Ministers to secure trade with the absolute minimum of frictions, and I hope and look forward to doing so.

Photo of James Cartlidge James Cartlidge Conservative, South Suffolk

The potential of not having a deal raises the issue again of a transition, and the Secretary of State said earlier he thought that there were very good prospects on that point. Given that the purpose of a transition is to give certainty to business, is not the only logical timeframe for a transition one that runs from when we leave to when a new comprehensive deal is signed?

Photo of Steven Baker Steven Baker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

The Government have agreed that the country would benefit from a period of implementation, but how that works and the destination to which we will be heading remain matters for negotiation.