Future Relationship Between the UK and the EU

Part of Domestic Gas and Electricity (Tariff Cap) Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:40 pm on 18th July 2018.

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Photo of Andrew Mitchell Andrew Mitchell Conservative, Sutton Coldfield 5:40 pm, 18th July 2018

That is a very true maxim, and one that is engraved on the walls of the Government Whips Office.

It seems to me that there are now really only two possible outcomes. The first is a deal based very largely on the Chequers settlement. Both my hon. Friend Mr Rees-Mogg and my right hon. and learned Friend Mr Grieve have honourably and eloquently voiced reservations and no one is going to be entirely satisfied with what has been produced, but the current Administration have basically bet the farm on the Chequers formula and will now have to repel all boarders, if I may mix my metaphors, whether from Brussels or from Somerset.

Many of us regret the Government’s decision to give in at the first whiff of grapeshot emanating from the west country earlier this week, precisely because giving in will make it more difficult to resist counter-pressure from other directions to change. It is extraordinarily unlikely that we will do better than the plan set out in the White Paper, but there ought to be enough in the broad Chequers outline for people of good will to work with and coalesce around.