Uk’S Withdrawal from the European Union

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:42 pm on 13th March 2019.

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Photo of Iain Duncan Smith Iain Duncan Smith Conservative, Chingford and Woodford Green 5:42 pm, 13th March 2019

Clearly time is short, so I do not plan to take any interventions unless someone objects to anything important I have to say.

May I start by telling my hon. Friend George Eustice how much I appreciate the time and service he gave? It is a great pity that he is no longer in post, for reasons he has made clear.

I say to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade, who is sitting on the Front Bench, that I clearly cannot support the idea of taking no deal off the table, because I have always believed that ultimately that is not up to us, unless, as my right hon. and learned Friend Mr Clarke has said, we are prepared somehow to revoke. If we are not prepared to revoke, we will put ourselves in the hands of the EU, which may decide that it does not want us to extend. Where would that leave us? It would leave us having to leave without the withdrawal agreement. The idea of no deal is a bit of a misnomer, because in actual fact a whole series of things are taking place right now in the EU and even here that amount to deals, arrangements and agreements. I will not go through the list, because time is very short.