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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

No. I have given way twice already and I recognise that time is running out.

As I said, the Government have made clear their intentions and how they intend to improve things. They have been very clear that we will leave the customs union in March 2019. Any attempt to thwart that is an attack on the democratic process and the clearly defined will of the British people. Some 70% of people in my constituency voted for leave. They did not vote for half-leave, which is what Opposition Members who want to remain in the single market or a customs union are trying to achieve. They wanted to leave full stop—absolutely and completely.

There are many mechanisms that can be used at the border. We can use pre-notification schemes such as that of the World Customs Organisation and the EU’s authorised economic operator scheme. Those mechanisms are operating and have been tested. The border between Switzerland and the EU is crossed by many more people and vehicles than the Irish border. It is not beyond the wit of this Government and this Parliament to come up with a solution. I am confident that a solution can be found. We voted to leave, not to half leave. The motion would undermine our negotiating position and should be rejected out of hand.