1st Allotted Day

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) Act – in the House of Commons at 7:32 pm on 4th December 2018.

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Photo of Boris Johnson Boris Johnson Conservative, Uxbridge and South Ruislip 7:32 pm, 4th December 2018

I must make some progress. If we vote for this deal, we are not taking back control. Indeed, I say to colleagues and friends across the House of Commons that we are part of a representative democracy, and voting for this deal would be not just like, as it were, turkeys voting for Christmas; it is actually worse than that. There is a sense in which we would be voting for Turkey, or Turkish—[Interruption.] That is exactly true. We would be voting for Turkish-style membership of the customs union, obliged to watch as access to the UK market is traded by Brussels, but with no say in the negotiations. Of course, the kicker is that with its veto, the EU ensures that the backstop that they impose on us is more subservient even than the arrangements that the Turks have—[Interruption.] That is absolutely true. It is a wonder, frankly, that any democratic politician could conceivably vote for this deal, and yet I know that many good colleagues are indeed determined to do so in the belief that we have no alternative or that we have run out of road, and as we heard earlier, that Brussels will offer us nothing else.