1st Allotted Day

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) Act – in the House of Commons at 5:46 pm on 4th December 2018.

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Photo of Theresa May Theresa May The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 5:46 pm, 4th December 2018

I do not think my hon. Friend will be surprised if I say that I do not agree with the analysis that she has just given in relation to the agreement. It is clear that we will have an independent trade policy and that we will be able to negotiate trade deals around the rest of the world. This is a specific issue that we looked at when we were putting forward our own proposals in the summer in relation to our future economic partnership with the European Union. I heard somebody on the Labour Benches asking from a sedentary position when we will be able to negotiate our trade deals. During the implementation period, we will be able to negotiate, sign and ratify trade deals around the world.

This will only be a moment of opportunity if we in this House can find a way to deliver a Brexit that begins to bring our country back together. That means protecting the easy trading relationship that supports just-in-time supply chains and the jobs that depend on them, the security co-operation that keeps us safe, the progress we have made in Northern Ireland, and the rights of citizens here in the UK and across the European Union.