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Department for Exiting the European Union

Part of Ministry of Defence – in the House of Commons at 8:56 pm on 26th February 2018.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Chair, Committee on Exiting the European Union 8:56 pm, 26th February 2018

Other Members want to speak. I have given way already, and I am about to bring my remarks to a close.

It seems to me that the estimates we should really be discussing are our best estimates of the economic impact of Brexit. We are now running out of time. It is 19 months since the referendum, and there are nine months to go in the negotiation, but, crucially, there is one month until the European Union draws up its negotiating guidelines for the new economic relationship. If we do not get a move on, we run the risk that options that the House—or, heaven knows, the Government, if they change their view—might want to pursue are closed off by the EU in the negotiating guidelines for want of clarity about what the United Kingdom is seeking.