Exiting the European Union (Consumer Protection)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:23 pm on 2nd April 2019.

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Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster Conservative, Torbay 3:23 pm, 2nd April 2019

I am conscious that I could probably expand this debate widely into legal services and the impact potentially from the recognition of judgments between different jurisdictions. A lot of people forget that the EU is not a sovereign state—I do not want it to be and nor does my hon. Friend. It is a creature of treaty, and its actions and rules are therefore effective only through the structures of member states—that is, recognition of court judgments that enforce EU law between different jurisdictions. He is right that if we go out under a no-deal scenario, from Brexit day plus one, that level of co-operation and recognition is unlikely. That is why this SI is needed. Bizarrely, the enforcement of these EU regulations could be pursued in courts across the EU, or even in our own courts, and meanwhile, a judgment looking to enforce to the benefit of a British company would not be recognised at all. It would basically a bit of paper someone would get.

We keep coming back to the fact that if people do not want this type of outcome, they have two choices. There is the Scottish National party’s choice, which is to revoke article 50—[Interruption.] We can hear the cheers coming from SNP Members. Or, we can put through the withdrawal agreement. That is where we are. We can talk about whether we should be in a particular type of customs arrangement, what we would like on security and defence, and whatever. At the end of the day, the withdrawal agreement is the gateway to every relationship with the EU, other than revocation or no deal.