[3rd Allotted Day]

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 12:42 pm on 6th December 2018.

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Photo of John Martin McDonnell John Martin McDonnell Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer 12:42 pm, 6th December 2018

I will come on to that, but the point we have consistently made is that we would not need the backstop; we want a permanent customs union and a relationship with the single market.

Let me press on. Some, I know, long for a no-deal Brexit. I want to mildly chide the Chancellor because he was among the earliest to set that hare running. In an interview in January 2017, he unwisely promoted the idea of changing our economic model to make our country what was described as a low tax haven off the coast of continental Europe. Some seized on that to provide a vestige of credibility for their campaign to crash out of the EU.

The Government have put the cost of no deal at potentially a staggering 9.3% of GDP. The Bank of England said that a disorderly no-deal Brexit could cause more economic damage than the global financial crash of 10 years ago, with house prices crashing by 14% and unemployment reaching nearly 6%. I appeal to all hon. Members to recognise that we have a duty to our constituents not to allow that to pass. I give this assurance: Labour will not countenance no deal and will work assiduously to avoid it.

Let me also say this. The Government’s threatening Members with the prospect of a no-deal Brexit to engender support for their own deal serves only to reveal their desperation. It is proving to be completely counter-productive.