Exiting the European Union

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:45 pm on 10th December 2018.

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Photo of Owen Paterson Owen Paterson Conservative, North Shropshire 3:45 pm, 10th December 2018

On 7 March, President Tusk offered the UK a wide-ranging free trade agreement, which foundered on the issue of the Northern Ireland border. It is therefore exasperating, today, that the Prime Minister is still talking about the backstop as the only solution to this border. She has heard from Nigel Dodds. This is a breach of the Belfast agreement principle of consent, and it is even a breach of the articles of the Act of Union in 1801. Since then, she has met international customs experts and she has met a Nobel prize winner, my right hon. Friend Lord Trimble. She knows that existing techniques and existing customs procedures can continue to deliver a seamless border. Will she please, at this late stage, put the backstop and all its horrors behind her, go back to the European Union and take up the offer made by President Tusk, using these modern, seamless customs techniques?