EU Withdrawal Agreement

Part of Bill Presented – in the House of Commons at 2:44 pm on 18th December 2018.

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Photo of Stephen Barclay Stephen Barclay The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 2:44 pm, 18th December 2018

My right hon. Friend speaks with great passion on this issue and she is right about the importance of certainty. First, many businesses particularly value the certainty of the implementation period that is delivered to 2020. Secondly, it was interesting that many people who were critical of the Prime Minister over the joint statement in December 2017, which was a political declaration, were critical on the basis that it was binding. Some of the same critics now criticise the political declaration reached alongside the withdrawal agreement because they argue that it is not binding. There is an inconsistency there.

What is clear, as the Attorney General has set out to the House in a series of statements and questions, is the legal wiring that exists between the withdrawal agreement and the political declaration, giving the framework on which the future economic relationship will be based. That will give us confidence as we move forward into the second phase.