[7th Allotted Day]

Part of Points of Order – in the House of Commons at 12:06 pm on 11th January 2019.

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Photo of David Tredinnick David Tredinnick Conservative, Bosworth 12:06 pm, 11th January 2019

Mr Speaker, thank you for calling me. I have sat through nearly 12 hours of debate in the past two days, and I have to say that I think yesterday there was a decisive shift in the mood of the Chamber overall.

I was a marginal remainer, but when I told my constituents that—this is perhaps illustrative of the influence I have had in the past 30 years—they voted 60:40 out. Having done that, I said, “I am absolutely with you. It is my duty to get you out.” I feel very strongly that we must respect what our constituents have told us; we cannot have it any other way. Some colleagues who do not do so will find themselves in some difficulty when their finance and general purposes committees or associations look at them as we approach the next general election. I see myself as a delegate, not a representative, on this.

Mr Speaker, you and the Prime Minister have at least one thing in common—stamina. You have been in the Chair for the whole time this debate has gone so, which is 16 hours this week up to today, and the Prime Minister has been at the Dispatch Box for a very long time on Brexit issues, too.

I should declare an interest that I most definitely do not have: I do not want a job. However, I have to tell the House that I am a long-standing supporter of the Prime Minister. I respect her for her integrity and determination. She was a very good Home Secretary—that Department is a bed of nails—as well as a good Minister before that and a good councillor in Morden before that. She got a better deal than I expected. I am not sure I expected her to come back with an end of free movement, our money and laws back, and zero tariffs. I think that she has satisfied the requirements of my constituency, and I also think it is perfectly reasonable to have some red lines.

Yesterday, I listened to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs demolish the Opposition’s case, with their 16 different positions, and my hon. Friend Vicky Ford explained that the European Union institutions will stop functioning in March because of the electoral cycle. We are therefore really faced with two options: we either take the deal on offer or we fall out of the EU. The pun is intended, because we will drop right out. As my hon. Friend Sir Paul Beresford said, a lot of people are saying, “Get on with it”; they want us to do it.

In his speech, my hon. Friend Julian Knight, who has 9,000 car workers, explained the problems of the supply chain, as did my right hon. Friend Mr Mitchell. I have to tell the House that in my Hinckley and Bosworth constituency we make things. It has the largest supplier of tractors worldwide, Caterpillar, with sales of $45 billion—the first UK factory was set up in Hinckley in 1952, and it now has over 1,500 employees—and 72% of its inbound components come from the EU, while 31% of outbound sales go to the EU. JJ Churchill, a supplier of Rolls-Royce, is in my constituency: fans are assembled into engine parts. I am told that there are dire problems if we do not have proper arrangements for leaving. MIRA, with its autonomous vehicles technology, is also in my constituency, as is DPD, the biggest parcel sorting operation in Europe, which has a depot the size of 14 football pitches and ships 80,000 items per hour, 20% of which go to the EU.

We have heard a lot about WTO terms from my hon. Friend Sir Bernard Jenkin and my right hon. Friend Mr Duncan Smith. They should have been here to listen to Sir Vince Cable demolish the argument for leaving on WTO terms, pointing out that he worked as part of the WTO during the Doha round and has therefore seen for himself the weakness of its dispute resolution process and the way in which the Americans ignore it.

We have three critical problems: the World Trade Organisation option does not work; just-in-time is critical because we do not have warehousing capacity; and agriculture would be ruined with 73% tariffs. Many colleagues support this argument, including the hon. Members for Redcar (Anna Turley) and for Leigh (Jo Platt) and my hon. Friend Eddie Hughes, who have said that they are worried about the situation.

On the backstop, colleagues should listen to Lady Hermon, who is supporting the Government on Brexit. She has warned of the dangers facing Northern Ireland’s businesses and agriculture, and we know that that is also true for agriculture in England. The Democratic Unionists should be careful what they wish for because there is the possibility of a border poll. The biggest problem for Northern Ireland will not so much be a hard border, which is impossible to construct and enforce but the catastrophic effect on its businesses.

I am supporting this deal, and I believe that there will be conciliation if we do not get it through on Tuesday. The hon. Members for Wolverhampton North East (Emma Reynolds) and for Stoke-on-Trent Central (Gareth Snell), Caroline Flint and my right hon. Friend Richard Benyon all spoke about conciliation. There will be some form of conciliation and we will get it through in the end.