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 Theresa May Theresa May The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 3:45 pm, 10th December 2018

The offer that the European Union put to the United Kingdom was for a Canada-style free trade agreement for Great Britain, because to deal with the seamless border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, it wanted to separate Northern Ireland away from the customs territory of Great Britain and therefore not have a single UK customs territory. In relation to the technical issues—the technical solutions—that my right hon. Friend refers to, yes, indeed, and we continue to engage with those who put these forward. The question is not just about no physical infrastructure on the border; the question is about the extent to which people on both sides of the border are able to continue to lead their lives as they do today, with no increased barriers or encumbrances to their leading their lives in that way. That is what I believe delivers on the seamless border, which does indeed underpin the Belfast/Good Friday agreement.