Eu: Withdrawal and Future Relationship (Motions)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:21 pm on 27th March 2019.

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Photo of Stephen Barclay Stephen Barclay The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 4:21 pm, 27th March 2019

I will come to the hon. and learned Lady’s motion to revoke in due course. I will take the motions in the order that Mr Speaker selected them. Turning to motion (L) from the hon. and learned Member for Edinburgh South West, which deals with revoking article 50 after a vote on no deal on the penultimate sitting day before exit day, it has long been the Government’s policy not to revoke article 50, and that position remains the same.

Motion (D) comes from my hon. Friend Nick Boles. He is a good friend, and I know that he tabled it in the spirit of trying to seek a solution for the House, but the fact that the labelling of his suggestion has been through so many different terms—Norway for now, Norway, Canada, EEA-plus, Norway-plus—draws attention to the point made by my hon. Friend Chris Philp, which is that there are several problems with the proposal. To take issue with two specific points, paragraph (1)(b) refers to

“continuing status as a party to the European Economic Area Agreement”,

but I gently say that that is factually incorrect. The United Kingdom is a member of the EEA only through its membership of the EU, and therefore—[Interruption.] My hon. Friend the Member for Grantham and Stamford shakes his head, but that is the clear position of Her Majesty’s Government.