Customs duties

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:30 pm on 20th December 2017.

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Photo of Steven Baker Steven Baker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 5:30 pm, 20th December 2017

The hon. Lady is trying to pre-empt some of my remarks. If she will bear with me, I will come to that.

A crucial point is that the Bill does not determine whether the UK leaves the EU; that is a matter of international law under the article 50 process. However, it is important that we have the same position in UK law that is reflected in European Union treaty law. That is why the Government have signed these amendments, and I was glad to do so.

I can assure the Committee we would use this power only in exceptional circumstances to extend the deadline for the shortest period possible, and that we cannot envisage the date being brought forward. As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has said many times, we and the EU are planning on the UK leaving the European Union at 11 pm on 29 March 2019.