It depends very much on what those rules are. Rules on the goods acquis, the part of EU regulation that deals with goods, are very stable and have been for many years. We know that our manufacturers in this country will continue to follow EU rules on goods, whether we choose to adopt those rules or not, so I think that the economic price of having such rules would be very small. In other areas, such as financial services, where rules are changing rapidly and where there is a great dynamism in the system, there could be much greater dangers for us in being locked into following rules over which we have no influence. That is why the deal we are putting before the House proposes a very different way forward for goods than for services, and particularly financial services.
I have observed this process at close quarters for two and a half years, and I am absolutely clear about one thing: this deal is the best deal to exit the EU that is available or that is going to be available. The idea that there is an option of renegotiating at the eleventh hour is simply a delusion. We need to be honest with ourselves that the alternatives to this deal are no deal or no Brexit. Either would leave us a fractured society and a divided nation.
Only the compromise of this negotiated deal—delivering on the referendum result by leaving the EU, ending the free movement of people and reasserting our sovereign control over our laws, while at the same time maintaining the closest possible trade, security and cultural links with the European Union to protect our jobs, our living standards and our values—can allow our country to move on. Only that compromise can bring us back together after Brexit is delivered, and we should remember the lesson of history that divided nations are not successful nations.