Future Relationship Between the UK and the EU

Part of Domestic Gas and Electricity (Tariff Cap) Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:06 pm on 18th July 2018.

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Photo of Steven Baker Steven Baker Conservative, Wycombe 5:06 pm, 18th July 2018

I am about to come on to my alternative, but I will not have words put in my mouth. I said when I appeared on the television last Monday that this was a time for reflection and taking stock, because the choices before this country are grave. Every Member of this House, on whichever Bench they sit, needs to think extremely carefully about how we go forward. I will not have words put in my mouth. What I have said, I have said from my knowledge and I believe it. No one should plan on a high-alignment deal—an EEA-lite style deal—going through this House.

Three key steps should be taken as we go forward. The first is that those in the UK who I would call the establishment, the governing class—those who create the climate of opinion—must accept the referendum result and its consequences. I encourage them to look at President Tusk’s March statement on the guidelines. The red lines that the British public expect us to fulfil imply that the common landing ground of our relationship with the EU, which I spelled out, taking words from his statement, is partnership on security, some participation in research, innovation, culture and education, dealing with the absurd consequences that would otherwise arise, and having a free trade agreement in the style of a normal FTA, not EEA-lite. That must be embraced.

Secondly, I refer the House to the question asked of the Prime Minister by my right hon. Friend Mr Davis today. The Government should table a legal text that should include a solution for the border in Ireland. We should stand ready, open, to negotiate this common ground set out in March.