Eu: Future Relationship White Paper

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:11 am on 12th July 2018.

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Photo of Dominic Raab Dominic Raab The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 1:11 am, 12th July 2018

I am grateful, Mr Speaker.

The right hon. and learned Gentleman made some specific points. He asked if I agreed with the White Paper. Yes, of course. He asked whether the White Paper was a starting point for the negotiation or the end point. It is for the negotiation, but we are confident that it is a principled, practical approach that can deliver a lasting deal and a good deal for this country and for the EU. He made some comments about services. In fact, we are looking to make sure that we have full autonomy over rule making in relation to services, with arrangements for recognition so that we retain our services provision between the UK and the EU, but are freed up to trade in services more energetically and more liberally through the trade deals we do right across the world.

On free movement, the White Paper is clear, if the right hon. and learned Gentleman wants to read it in good faith and understand our position. We have made it clear that we are ending free movement. That means we are going to take back control of our borders. It means that we will have stronger security checks at the border. It also means that we will have control over the number of people who come to this country. At the same time, we want Britain to be an open, outward-looking country. We want to encourage and facilitate business trips from the EU to the UK—that is common sense. We want to make sure there is visa waiver travel for tourism such as family holidays—that is common sense. For students and young people wanting to engage in research or go to university, or indeed to engage in the cultural activities across the continent, we obviously want to have sensible arrangements—that is common sense too.

The right hon. and learned Gentleman talked about the customs union and the single market. He needs to be clear: if Labour’s position is to remain in the single market or the customs union and if, as he has said before, freedom of movement is “up for negotiation”—his words, not mine—that would break every promise every Labour candidate made at the last election to end free movement. The Government now stand ready to work with the EU over the coming weeks, ahead of the European Council in October. We must move at pace and we must negotiate with resolve to deliver the prosperous and secure future that all our peoples deserve.