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European Union (Withdrawal) Act

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:07 pm on 25th March 2019.

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Photo of Anna Soubry Anna Soubry Independent, Broxtowe 9:07 pm, 25th March 2019

I completely agree with the right hon. Gentleman. Indeed, I observe that many of them held the most senior positions in government but, when the going got tough, found life was much easier by leaving those positions, failing to deliver and failing to live up to the responsibility placed on them by their leadership of the leave campaign.

My constituents who are watching at home, reading the reports or, in any event, aware of the current situation are aghast, and I know I am not alone. Other right hon. and hon. Members have received emails and letters from constituents who are worried, and we have already heard about the availability, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, of medicines or, in one instance, of special food for a child with a particular allergy. Yet there are Conservative Members who actually look forward to and welcome a no-deal Brexit. It has to be said yet again that, in the words of the Business Secretary, that would be the most “ruinous” of outcomes for our country.

On that lack of certainty for businesses, let us consider a pharmaceutical company in Broxtowe. It is just in my constituency, although Lilian Greenwood might want to claim it as well—it is all about a line that goes through a car park. However, I know that she shares my concern for this real-life business that employs real people. At the moment, such is the crisis that it does not know what to print on its boxes, because it does not know what the outcome is going to be. That may sound minor, but it shows the problem, because too many Conservative Members do not understand the real crisis facing businesses. [Interruption.] One Conservative Member seems to find this amusing. I think this is the problem: some hon. Members actually think that a company of that scale, with 850 workers—one can imagine the huge amount of pharmaceutical products that they produce every day—can go down to Prontaprint on a Friday and order all these boxes with all the right markings on, and they will be ready on a Monday. I gently say to Conservative Members—