Future Relationship Between the UK and the EU

Part of Domestic Gas and Electricity (Tariff Cap) Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:48 pm on 18th July 2018.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Chair, Committee on Exiting the European Union 5:48 pm, 18th July 2018

May I begin by apologising to you, Madam Deputy Speaker, to the Secretary of State and to the shadow Secretary of State for not being present at the start of the debate? As Mr Speaker was aware, I was questioning the Prime Minister as a member of the Liaison Committee on the subject we are debating here now.

I listened to the speech by Mr Baker and respect the passion with which he advocates his position, although I profoundly disagree with it. I do, however, gently say to him that I think it is unfair to seek to blame civil servants for the situation in which we find ourselves as a nation when for two years they have had to watch the spectacle of Ministers and Cabinet Ministers openly arguing among themselves about the right course of action, and it was not until Chequers that the Prime Minister tried to bring them together.