Future Relationship Between the UK and the EU

Part of Domestic Gas and Electricity (Tariff Cap) Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:26 pm on 18th July 2018.

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Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Trade), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union) 6:26 pm, 18th July 2018

I welcome the Secretary of State to his new role—we wish him the best of British. He will know that my views and his diverge as much as is possible on this subject. Although I could point out that my views are closer to those of his constituents than his are, but perhaps he can point out that his views are slightly closer to those of my constituents than mine are, such is the way things are working on Brexit.

I am confused by the contribution of Mr Baron. There are clearly constituencies where every single person who spoke to him was raising the single market and customs union in the run-up to the EU referendum, whereas in my constituency every single person talking to me was talking about immigration. I cannot recall someone saying during the referendum campaign, “I want to be out of the single market and customs union.” May I point out, that if the European Union does not currently have a trade deal with India, that is because of our then Home Secretary—now our Prime Minister—rejecting the trade deal because it would have required issuing visas to Indians? He needs to look more carefully at some of the reasons why such things have not happened.

The hon. Gentleman will be aware that the number of migrants to the UK went up in 2017 compared with 2016 because there was growth in non-EU migration, which is something he omitted to point out in his comments.