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Leaving the Eu: Negotiations

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:45 pm on 10th July 2018.

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Photo of Robin Walker Robin Walker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 4:45 pm, 10th July 2018

My hon. Friend makes his point powerfully, but we need to ensure that we allow ourselves to take the right approach and the constructive approach to the negotiations. Many Members on both sides of the House have identified the damage that would be done to the negotiating process by signalling to the European Union that, if it were to take a tough stance and allow the talks to break down, the British people would simply decide to pay in and still send vast sums of money. Sir Edward Davey confirmed that it was the position of the Liberal Democrats to ask the question at the end of the process: “Do you like the deal that is on offer, or do you simply want to stay in the European Union?” If we set out that question right now to ask at the end of the process, there would be no incentive for the European Union to engage constructively with the negotiations over the coming months. It is naive in the extreme to think that the EU would continue to negotiate in good faith on that basis.