[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

It is a statement of the legal position to say that to enter into a permanent arrangement, we need to be a third party. That reality is part of the difficulty of this situation. That is why we need an implementation period. We have in the political declaration a framework and in the business statements of the December Council a commitment. In “best endeavours”, we have something that gives legal force to ensuring momentum. It is a shared endeavour, too, because it is in neither side’s interests to trigger the backstop. There is, then, a mechanism, a framework and a process for addressing these concerns. The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right, however, that there is further significant work to be done, and that will be the job of this House.