Customs duties

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:15 pm on 20th December 2017.

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Photo of Chris Leslie Chris Leslie Labour/Co-operative, Nottingham East 4:15 pm, 20th December 2017

I will come to the US situation in a moment. I have to tell the hon. Gentleman that the inward investment figures are massively inflated because of mergers and acquisitions data. When we consider the buy-outs of some of the large technology companies—[Interruption.] Well, I do not believe that the hon. Gentleman should necessarily interpret the stripping out of British ownership of such companies as a great British success. If he digs beneath the statistics, he might see a slightly different picture.

Our mythology about the UK’s potential to strike a great and bountiful set of trade deals if we could only rid ourselves of the shackles of the customs union is becoming a bit of a joke across the British economy.