UK’s Withdrawal from the EU

Part of Business of the House (Today) – in the House of Commons at 12:19 pm on 14th February 2019.

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Photo of Stephen Barclay Stephen Barclay The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 12:19 pm, 14th February 2019

I respect my hon. Friend’s point, but what I hear from many, particularly in the business community, is that they do not want more uncertainty. They want to see this move forward, and they want to see a deal secured.

In terms of the next steps, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister will meet President Juncker next week, and today she is holding conversations with other European leaders. In parallel, my right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General is pursuing other avenues for a possible legal challenge to the agreement. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has made the wider Government position clear to many in the EU, as I have to the leader of the European People’s party, the European Parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator and the EU’s chief negotiator. In addition, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and I have met a wide range of key European stakeholders.

While the EU’s public statements have said that there will be no reopening of the withdrawal agreement, it has also said, as I pointed out to the right hon. Member for Belfast North, that it wants to avoid no deal and wants to reach an agreement that will be supported by this House. Members will have seen the comments from leading European figures such as the German Chancellor, who spoke of her desire for a “constructive solution”. The House needs to give the Prime Minister time to explore that.