European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:15 pm on 29th January 2019.

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Photo of Yvette Cooper Yvette Cooper Chair, Home Affairs Committee 4:15 pm, 29th January 2019

I rise to speak to amendment (b) and to support amendments (a), (g), (i) and (j). I also support amendment (h), but it has not been selected.

There are two months to go until the end of the article 50 time limit. The Prime Minister’s deal was rejected comprehensively, fundamentally because I think all sides shared the view that it would weaken us abroad and in the negotiations ahead. It represents a blindfold Brexit that would weaken our negotiating hand. The Prime Minister is not instilling confidence that she has a plan to sort this out. I am really worried that the delay, the drift and the chasing of unicorns mean that we could end up with no deal by accident, even though that would hit jobs, our NHS and our border security, and put up food prices for the poorest families in the country.

I have called many times on the Government to support a customs union. Like many across this House, I want the Government to get a good Brexit deal that can pull people together and command support across the country, but I see no sign of that happening right now, and the clock is ticking. I am very worried by the warnings I have had from Haribo, Burberry, West Yorkshire police, GMB, manufacturers, trade unions and small businesses in my constituency about the consequences of us going over the edge of a cliff.