Uk’S Withdrawal from the EU

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:21 pm on 27th February 2019.

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Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 3:21 pm, 27th February 2019

I am grateful for that intervention, because what it demonstrates is the point I was trying to make about the customs union. If the Government Front Bench say our political declaration is in effect a customs union by a different name, because we are going to build on the backstop and make it permanent and turbocharge it, I suspect there will be a degree of opposition to that, if I have understood anything about the debates that have been going on here for some considerable time. That is where the difference is.

As for the repeal of the 1972 Act, I have always said—I stand by it—that repealing that Act and putting a date for leaving in the withdrawal Act was a mistake because of the transition period. I have always said that the Act we have passed will have to be repealed before it comes into force, and so it will. The implementation Bill White Paper specifically says it is going to be, as the hon. Gentleman well knows. In other words, between now and the end of March we have got to intercept the withdrawal Act that we have passed if there is going to be any order to leaving the EU and ensure that things like the ceasing of the jurisdiction of the European Court is changed. It was barmy to turn the European Court off at 11 o’clock on 29 March, which is the current law, because you cannot get on to transition. I always said that before that comes into force, if this is going to make any sense at all, it is going to have to be changed, intercepted and repealed. That is exactly what the implementation Bill will do. I am as sure as I possibly can be.