European Union (Withdrawal) Act

Part of Leaving the EU – in the House of Commons at 7:56 pm on 14th January 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Iain Duncan Smith Iain Duncan Smith Conservative, Chingford and Woodford Green 7:56 pm, 14th January 2019

My position is that we go back and get a better deal. That is the reality, because I believe that that is how the EU works. The EU got everything it wanted first time round, but if it knows that we are not going to take this deal, it will have to discuss it. When I visited the European Commission and met Mr Barnier and Sabine Weyand and their team, it became clear, before we signed up to this deal, that they were fully expecting to take things further once pressed hard—that is to say, they expected that this deal would not pass. They have been waiting for this vote to know exactly where they are going. I genuinely think that the Government will be in a better place to go and say, “Look, this stuff that you’ve given us and this stuff that we’ve got is simply not acceptable, and we will not get it through.” Therefore, if we genuinely want to reach an agreement—I believe that the EU does—we must strike a harder deal with them, and they have to accept that and will do so. That is where we are.

Back in 1992, I realised that the plans under the Single European Act and Maastricht were taking us to a place that we would never be in, because this country would never accept that it would eventually be fully locked into a supranational organisation that was taking powers away from individual Parliaments. That is why I feel upbeat about the referendum vote. I am tired of being told that it was some sort of disaster or accident. When I campaigned to leave, I genuinely and passionately believed that this country would do incredibly well whatever the arrangements. I just wish that many more in this House would stand up for those who voted to leave genuinely—not stupidly and not because they hated people, but because they wanted something to change. They wanted to take back control of their country, and that is what I want to do here.