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Leaving the Eu: Customs

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:58 pm on 16th May 2018.

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Photo of Martin Vickers Martin Vickers Conservative, Cleethorpes 4:58 pm, 16th May 2018

Surely the key question that we should be asking ourselves is whether, if Parliament were to pass this motion and the information were to be released, it would undermine our negotiating position. I would argue that that is most certainly the case. Of course it is the aim and objective of those who support the remain cause that the EU will give us the worst possible terms and that, as a result, we will go on to reject an agreement, but there are also practical reasons, and political judgments have to be made.

What do we know already? We know that the Government are intent on delivering the Brexit that was determined by the referendum. We know that they will bring back control of our money, borders and laws to this House, rather than their being based in Brussels. In doing that, they intend to ensure that trade between ourselves and the EU is as frictionless as possible, that we avoid a hard border in Ireland, and that we establish an independent trade policy.

What do we know about the facts and figures? We know that in 2016 we had a trade deficit with the EU of £71 billion. In that same year, the UK had a trade surplus with the rest of the world of £34 billion. The European Commission has predicted that 90% of world economic growth over the next 10 to 15 years will come from outside the European Union, so surely our focus should be on countries outside the EU.