[3rd Allotted Day]

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

Alert me about debates like this

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

The backstop could remain permanent. We have had confusion this morning on the advice from the House of Commons Library and the Chancellor about how it could be ended or a transition deal extended in some form. There is absolute confusion at the moment, and we are now undermining the relationship with one of our biggest trading partners as a result.

One organisation, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, has estimated that by 2030 we could see a £70 billion reduction in national GDP, in 2016 prices, as a result. Once the Prime Minister accepted our argument for a transition period, she argued that it was right because it would mean only one change for British businesses. Now we face shifting from a transition period to a backstop arrangement, and then to a free trade deal. This is not what was promised. We do know, however, what the Chancellor thinks of the backstop arrangement because he has said so:

“I’ve been clear from the outset that I do not like the backstop. I don’t think the backstop is a good arrangement for our economy, I don’t think it’s a good arrangement for our union.”

I fully agree.