Eu: Withdrawal and Future Relationship (Motions)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:57 pm on 1st April 2019.

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Photo of Vicky Ford Vicky Ford Conservative, Chelmsford 7:57 pm, 1st April 2019

There are huge divisions in our country. Although I voted remain, I do not support a second referendum or revoking previous decisions because I do not believe that that would heal our divisions. However, having no deal with our largest trading partner is unacceptable. It poses huge risks to our economy and creates uncertainty on the Irish border.

I voted three times for the Prime Minister’s deal. It is a bespoke deal and to me it is the best option, but it has failed three times. Saying no to everything does not work. We need a compromise and I will support a customs union this evening. That is not the same as the customs union that we are in today. We can be in a customs union, but out of the common fisheries policy, the common agricultural policy and free movement. All those were big issues in the referendum. Yes, we would have the same tariffs on goods, but we would not have to follow the same regulation on goods. On services—the key part of our economy—we would be free to make our own regulations, and our own trade deals with other parts of the world. A customs union does not involve handing over our trade policy to Brussels because a country Britain’s size would influence Brussels policy. Even Turkey retains its own say on trade sanctions.

The fundamental issue is deliverability. We could be in a customs union, combined with the withdrawal agreement, and deal with everything with the future framework. That could all be done by 22 May and we would not need ever longer extensions or another European election.