European Council

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:43 pm on 17th December 2018.

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Photo of Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Conservative, Reigate 3:43 pm, 17th December 2018

The certainty of World Trade Organisation terms from 29 March, without even including the opportunity for tariff-free trade under article 24 of the general agreement on tariffs and trade and the immediate opportunity to negotiate and conclude free trade agreements with the EU and the rest of the world, hardly sounds like an outcome to be avoided at all costs, and certainly not like a disaster. The extent of any disruption from a move to WTO terms depends on the policies of our European Union partners. If it becomes clear on Wednesday that their preparations appear to make transition more difficult, not easier, will the Prime Minister make sure that of the £39 billion that we would otherwise pay to the EU, the first charge is for British businesses affected by their policies? Will she show the first flash of steel by making it clear that she will at least consider that the £1.2 billion of sunk costs in the Galileo project might also come into consideration?