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Exiting the European Union: Meaningful Vote

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:38 pm on 11th December 2018.

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Photo of Gregory Campbell Gregory Campbell Shadow DUP Spokesperson (International Development), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 3:38 pm, 11th December 2018

Yes, indeed. That is a very good point.

I want briefly to go through what we have been left with at the moment. It would appear that there are still those who want to try to align the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland, with the euro state—that cabal that still rules in Brussels. Who knows what will happen? I know that, some time ago, there was mention of the European parliamentary elections. We do not know what will happen, but we know that they will take place two months after we are scheduled to leave. We know that, over the past 18 months, the direction of travel in many of the countries involved has been a lurch to the far right, and we wait to see what next June will bring. I am not sure whether people will want us to be aligned with those countries—to Poland, to Hungary, to Wilders in the Netherlands, to France, to Germany and to Italy—when we see what comes from those elections.

In the closing moments of my speech, I want to address the issue of the backstop. Much has been made of it. One year ago our Prime Minister made a fundamental mistake, which was to accept that a deal could be done only with a backstop that had to be incorporated as part of the deal. Unfortunately, the EU and the Irish Government have sold our Government the line that the backstop is necessary to prevent a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. I have stated this on numerous occasions in this House: there are 643 Members who take their seats in this House, 642 of whom live further away from the border than me. This is about not what I think about the border, but what I and others know about the border and its historical significance.