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Leaving the Eu: Customs

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:35 pm on 16th May 2018.

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Photo of Emma Reynolds Emma Reynolds Labour, Wolverhampton North East 5:35 pm, 16th May 2018

I sometimes agree with the right hon. Lady but on this occasion I do not. The paper I am holding up now is the kind of ludicrous document we have before us: the “Future customs arrangements” paper. It is the only thing written by this Government on the customs union, and it contains just five flimsy paragraphs on the Prime Minister’s supposedly preferred option. That is not acceptable. Members of this House have a right to scrutinise the Government’s proposals, and this document is for the moment all we have to go on.

At the crux of this debate is the fact that membership of the customs union is crucial for two reasons. It is crucial because it is the only way to protect jobs and investment in my region of the west midlands and across the country. The EU is the UK’s biggest export market and our manufacturers, such as those in the automotive sector like Jaguar Land Rover and in the aerospace sector, rely on a frictionless border with that market. Any delays on the border, any extra cost and any added bureaucracy will put jobs and investment at risk.