Review of powers in consequence of EU withdrawal

Part of Finance (No. 3) Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:45 pm on 8th January 2019.

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Photo of Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Conservative, Reigate 5:45 pm, 8th January 2019

Rachel Reeves has just cited Nestlé, which is a Swiss company. The right hon. Lady will be aware that Britain and Switzerland, which is able to make arrangements for the future, negotiated an agreement on 14 December 2018 to be able to continue trade, even if there is no agreement between the UK and the EU. Once this House has rejected the withdrawal agreement, that is exactly where the European Union and the United Kingdom will be. We will need to make the best of the situation in which we find ourselves. That is precisely why both sides will, under article 24 of the general agreement on tariffs and trade, move towards a free trade agreement to ensure that we do not put tariffs in place at all after 29 March. That is where we should be and those are the realities that are going to descend once we are through the “Project Fear” phase.