Honda in Swindon

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:23 pm on 19th February 2019.

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Photo of Greg Clark Greg Clark The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy 1:23 pm, 19th February 2019

It is evidently the case that we should be part of a free trade agreement with Japan, and we should avail ourselves of the one that has been negotiated with the EU, unless and until it is replaced by a better one. Notwithstanding the disruption that free trade can sometimes cause, I am strongly of the view that, as a nation, we prosper from being a nation of free trade, and I think the right hon. Gentleman agrees. I think it has been evident in my replies to hon. Members on both sides of the House that I regard it as an urgent requirement to conclude our discussions. That will require compromise on both sides of the House, but that is something that this House has achieved over the years; indeed, the rest of the world has admired this House of Commons for coming to pragmatic decisions that are in the interests of the long-term reputation of this country.