Uk’S Withdrawal from the EU

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:12 pm on 27th February 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of David Lidington David Lidington Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Minister of State (Cabinet Office) 2:12 pm, 27th February 2019

If the hon. Gentleman will forgive me, I will try to give way to him later, but I hope he will let me move on for the moment.

The Government believe that leaving with our deal is better than leaving without a deal. Members who have seen the summary paper published yesterday, and other sources, too, will know that there is no avoiding the fact that an abrupt departure from the European Union without an agreement of any kind would lead to a shock to our economy, and that it would not be possible for a Government, even with the most meticulous planning of arrangements in this country, to mitigate and plan entirely for what might happen outwith our own jurisdiction. In those circumstances we would, for example, be reliant on the readiness of the authorities in France and elsewhere to introduce streamlined checks and procedures, or on the readiness of the European Commission to allow a short-term derogation from its normal rules and practices. As a responsible Government, we have therefore been taking appropriate steps to minimise that disruption and have published extensive information to ensure the country is prepared. We have published and updated 106 technical notices and contacted the 145,000 businesses that trade with the European Union to help them to prepare for no-deal customs procedures.

It is a fact that as long as this House is unable to agree to an alternative course of action and get behind a particular agreement on exit from the European Union, businesses and individuals will have to plan for and take action as well. The Government have taken and will continue to take steps to provide businesses and citizens with advice to help them to make preparations to mitigate the potential impacts of a no-deal Brexit. The paper published yesterday showed that there are more actions that businesses should consider taking and which the Government urge them to plan for as necessary.