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[2nd Allotted Day]

Part of Immigration (Time Limit on Detention) – in the House of Commons at 4:10 pm on 5th December 2018.

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Photo of Mark Harper Mark Harper Conservative, Forest of Dean 4:10 pm, 5th December 2018

I completely agree with my hon. Friend. That is not a contract I would be willing to sign and I am afraid that is why I cannot sign up to this withdrawal agreement. It is also the case that the withdrawal agreement will hand over about £39 billion in an unconditional way. I think that most people who carry out negotiations generally do not hand over all the money until they have a deal. We should make the money conditional on both getting a good deal and getting a good deal on a timely basis. If we were to do that, we would get a good deal on a timely basis.

There may be before the House amendments to the motions and extra words may be added to the political declaration, but what we are being asked to vote on is a legally binding treaty—the withdrawal agreement. Unless that is changed, words added to the political declaration and any extra words on the motions before this House are legally meaningless. I do not think they are capable of persuading colleagues who are concerned about the withdrawal agreement that they have significantly changed the position.