Future Relationship Between the UK and the EU

Part of Domestic Gas and Electricity (Tariff Cap) Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:16 pm on 18th July 2018.

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Photo of John Baron John Baron Conservative, Basildon and Billericay 6:16 pm, 18th July 2018

I want to address my remarks to the two core tenets of the EU: the customs union and the single market. I think there is a danger in this place, and perhaps in certain sections of the community outside, of taking the view that people did not know what they voted for when they voted to leave. Not only is that incorrect, but it can come across as very patronising and condescending.

I think we know what people voted for. The twin tenets of the EU are the single market and the customs union. If that point needs to be reinforced, we have only to look at the two manifestos of the two main political parties at the last general election. They confirmed that we would be leaving the customs union and the single market, and 80% of the electorate voted knowing that to be the case. I take exception to the view that somehow the British electorate did not know what they were voting for. It is particularly important to say that, because I believe that if this Parliament does not accept the will of the British people, we risk pushing the mainstream to the edges of the political spectrum. That would not be a healthy development for democracy in this country.