EU Withdrawal Agreement: Legal Changes

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:37 pm on 7th January 2019.

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Photo of Stephen Barclay Stephen Barclay The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 3:37 pm, 7th January 2019

As my hon. Friend will know, the Prime Minister made clear that she has heard the concerns of the House in relation to the backstop and that is subject to the further discussions with European leaders. In terms of its scope, it is worth reminding the House that 80% of our economy is covered by services that would not be within the scope of the backstop. It is worth having some proportion with regard to that discussion. On the other issues, I was not sure whether he was saying he wants more freedom for state aid, which would be the Leader of the Opposition’s position. That is not, characteristically, what I would expect my hon. Friend to be calling for. The reality is that any deal we enter into with the EU will require a backstop. That is the substance of it. Whether that is a Canada option, a Canada-plus, a Canada-plus-plus or a Canada-plus-plus-plus, the reality is that, whatever the deal, it will require a backstop.