[5th Allotted Day]

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) Act – in the House of Commons at 2:27 pm on 9th January 2019.

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Photo of Stephen Barclay Stephen Barclay The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 2:27 pm, 9th January 2019

I will make a little more progress, then I will happily take further interventions.

The withdrawal agreement addresses many of the key issues that Members, including Opposition Members, have spoken about. For example, it protects citizens’ rights: it protects the 3 million EU citizens in the UK and the 1 million UK citizens in the EU. It provides a financial settlement that honours our legal obligations. Not to do so, as Opposition Members have often pointed out, would undermine our international position. It guarantees an implementation period that means that businesses will have one change to make as we enter a new trade deal, as opposed to two. Most importantly—this is an issue on which the Opposition rightly have a proud record, because they played a key part in the peace process in Northern Ireland—the withdrawal agreement enables us to preserve that hard-won peace and ensure that the commitments that were made in the Belfast agreement are honoured.