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 tried to deal with that question last time I was at the Dispatch Box, but I will have another go. We do have concerns about the backstop. There are concerns about the exit arrangements. There are concerns that England, Wales and Scotland, on the face of it, will fall out of single market alignment when we are in the backstop. There are concerns about the protection of workplace rights, environmental rights, non-regression protections and so on, and the enforcement mechanism is not the same as it is for other provisions, such as procurement. So there are real, deep concerns. Notwithstanding those concerns, though, we accept, because of our commitment to the Good Friday agreement, that at this stage—two years in, with 30 days to go—a backstop is inevitable. I hope that makes that clear, but I do not accept that it is possible to separate the two documents and treat them as separate documents to be voted on separately. In addition, the legislation does not allow us to do so; it requires both documents to go through in order for us to move forward.