Customs duties

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:15 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 6:15 pm, 20th December 2017

I did say that that was the last time I would give way, and I think it is now time for me to—[Interruption.] Yes, it is Christmas, and it is in the spirit of seasonal brevity that I would like to turn to the issue of thanks.

I should first like to thank the Committee for its diligent and well-informed scrutiny of this, the first Bill that I have piloted through Parliament. I am an engineer, not a pilot, however, so perhaps I could be said to have guided it through Parliament. It has been my pleasure to do so. I should like to thank you, Sir David, for your chairmanship, and I thank Dame Rosie, Mrs Laing, the other Sir David, Mr Hanson and Mr Streeter for theirs. It has been a pleasure to serve under all your chairmanships. I should also like to thank the Bill ministerial team, whose advice, support and guidance have been absolutely indispensable.

I should like to thank the Solicitor General, my hon. and learned Friend Robert Buckland, the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, my hon. Friend Dominic Raab, the Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office, my hon. Friend Chris Skidmore and of course the Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, my hon. Friend Mr Walker. It would be wrong of me to omit the Lord Commissioner of Her Majesty's Treasury, my hon. Friend Mark Spencer, who unfortunately is not in his place. His occasional guidance to the entire team has been invaluable, and has always been followed.

Finally, and most importantly, I should like to thank all the officials in the Department for Exiting the European Union and beyond who have so diligently risen to the enormous task of dealing with the scrutiny of the Bill. They have guided and assisted Ministers in the preparation of their remarks and they have responded to every query, from the House and from Ministers. We could not possibly have asked for more from them, and they could not have responded more professionally or more energetically. We can be extremely proud of all of the officials who have supported the Bill, as we wish them all a merry Christmas.