[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

My hon. Friend, as a former Member of the European Parliament, always speaks with great authority on these issues, and she is absolutely right. After 45 years, we are winding down a complex relationship with the EU, and certain things are incumbent on us in that process, including safeguarding citizens’ rights and honouring our legal obligations. As a Brexiteer who supported leaving on the basis that we should be trading with the rest of the world, I find it a strange idea that our first measure on leaving would be to walk away from our legal obligations. I do not think that other countries around the globe would find that persuasive.

I know that my hon. Friend is a huge champion of business in her constituency; it is important that we respond to the fact that businesses do not want a series of changes; they want one set of changes, and they want transitional arrangements in place to give them certainty as they go through that process. This is the challenge for the House. It is not enough for it simply to say what it is against, or to suggest that under WTO rules these risks could be mitigated.