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Customs duties

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 7:15 pm on 20th December 2017.

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Photo of Ian Murray Ian Murray Labour, Edinburgh South 7:15 pm, 20th December 2017

This of course brings us to the crux of the Government’s ideology, and no Government Members can ever stand up again and confidently pronounce that the Conservative party is pro-business.

The Government’s strategy and the red lines they have drawn in relation to the Bill are destroying business and are anti-business. Every sector that gives evidence to the Health Committee, the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, the Foreign Affairs Committee or the International Trade Committee—and on and on—tells us that the only way to resolve these problems is by staying in the single market and the customs union. If such sectors—the people who create the jobs, employ the people and create the wealth in this country—are telling us that, we should listen to them, rather than to those on the extreme right wing of the Conservative party. They claim to be free traders, but they want to throw out 57 trade deals for some aspirational trade deals—no one can yet tell us whether anyone is even in the queue or wanting to speak to us about them—which is surely anti-trade and anti-business, and is destroying the fabric of the economy of this country.