[3rd Allotted Day]

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 11:51 am on 6th December 2018.

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Photo of Philip Hammond Philip Hammond The Chancellor of the Exchequer 11:51 am, 6th December 2018

The hon. Lady is too absolutist. Yes, of course there is further negotiation to be done, but the shape and key elements of the deal are clearly set out in the political declaration. I have described some of them already today. Business will be able to begin to prepare. I completely accept that further clarity will arise during the ongoing negotiations in the transition period. I am sure that she has talked to businesses, so she will know that this is the way that business wants to go. The alternatives—of a no deal exit, or of trying to overturn the referendum decision and risk fracturing our country for a generation—are too awful to contemplate. We have to take this opportunity that is presented to us to protect our economy and to heal our country.

To protect the living standards of the people of the whole United Kingdom, we need to act now. We need to act now to end uncertainty, to protect jobs, businesses and prosperity and to begin to heal the divisions in our country. But what if we do not? What if we turn our backs on this opportunity of a negotiated exit and a transition to the future? I have heard that we have nothing to fear from no deal—nothing, that is, except a cliff-edge Brexit in just four months’ time; the end of frictionless trade with our biggest export market; restrictions on our citizens travelling in Europe; and being the only developed economy in the world trading with the EU on purely WTO terms with no customs facilitation agreements, no data sharing or protection agreements and no approvals regime to allow our industries to trade with their nearest customers and suppliers—just tariffs, paperwork and bureaucracy.

UK car exports would face tariffs of 10%. Many clothing exports would face tariffs of 12%. Agricultural exports would face even higher tariffs. Almost 90% of UK beef exports and 95% of lamb exports go to the EU, where they could face tariffs of over 70% and 45% respectively.