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

My hon. Friend, from a sedentary position, compares the European Union to Lavrov and Russia. I think that that is an entirely inapposite comparison. These are our friends. These are our partners. To compare them to Russia today is quite extraordinary.

We should say that we appreciate the good work that is being done to protect the rights of citizens on either side of the channel, but we must be clear that we will not accept the backstop. It is nonsensical to claim that it is somehow essential to further progress in the negotiations. The question of the Irish border is for the future partnership, not the withdrawal agreement. It was always absurd that it should be imported into this section of the negotiations. We should use the implementation period to negotiate that future partnership, which is what I believe the Government themselves envisage—and, by the way, we should withhold at least half that £39 billion until the negotiation on the new partnership is concluded.