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Uk’S Withdrawal from the EU

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:01 pm on 27th February 2019.

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Photo of Yvette Cooper Yvette Cooper Chair, Home Affairs Committee 5:01 pm, 27th February 2019

We have to get some form of sensible agreement in place so that people can get on with their lives, and so that people are not threatened with the insecurity of having complete chaos from whatever source, if we end up with no deal.

I also support amendment (a) and, in particular, the proposal for a customs union. I think that, if Ministers were honest about being able to reach out and trying to build some consensus around something, they would recognise that if many of the points that are in amendment (a) were put to a free vote across the House, they would—I suspect—get a majority and that that would be a consensus way forward.

I also want to deal with my concerns about the tone of the debate. The right hon. Member for Meriden said earlier that she hoped that the tone of the debate was changing and that there would be some spirit of compromise. I look forward to that, but I am worried that I have still, even today, heard comments from Members of this House about the agreement that the Prime Minister came to yesterday, accusing those of us who have been calling for it of being “mutinous”, “plotters”, “saboteurs” and “blackmailers”. I think that this is really inappropriate, divisive and counter-productive. It really does not fit with the kind of debate that we ought to be having about something so important, particularly when, frankly, I think it is hugely patriotic to be trying to make sure that we can stand up for British manufacturing, that the NHS can get its medicines and that British families across the country do not have to pay higher food prices in shops. I say as a final thought that, in the end, wherever we get to in this Brexit process has to have some form of consensus around it, or it will not be sustainable, and that is what we should all keep in mind.