EU VAT area and pre-commencement requirements

Part of Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:30 pm on 16th July 2018.

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Photo of Anna Soubry Anna Soubry Conservative, Broxtowe 5:30 pm, 16th July 2018

I have to say to my hon. Friend that that is absolute codswallop. When I went to Toyota, we were shown exactly the places where the parts had come from. For example, some parts had come from Japan. There was a special arrangement with Japan whereby the parts come into the factory and sit in a bonded warehouse. Those parts number less than 1% of the total. Toyota has 2.5 million parts coming into that factory, and the vast majority come from the European Union—it relies on frictionless trade.

With great respect to my hon. Friend, he is somebody who makes the case that we should be a member of the World Trade Organisation. Let us just get this one straight. If our country joins the World Trade Organisation—[Interruption.] Well, we are a member through our membership of the European Union. If we are a member of the WTO in our own right, we will have to abide by its rules, which say that every member must secure its borders—I repeat, must secure its borders. That does not just mean that our country, when we leave the European Union, must secure its borders, but that the European Union, whether it likes or not, must secure its borders. What does that mean? There will have to be a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. It is dishonest and disingenuous for people to stand up and make out that something other than that is the reality.

The White Paper faces up to Brexit reality, and that is what Conservative Members must now do. We have to face that reality, just like I have had to face the reality that we are leaving the European Union. Hon. Members have to do the right thing by their constituents and put trade and business at the heart of Brexit.