European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 5) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:05 pm on 3rd April 2019.

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Photo of Yvette Cooper Yvette Cooper Chair, Home Affairs Committee 6:05 pm, 3rd April 2019

My hon. Friend is entirely right. Let me quickly tell the House about some of the points that have been made to me about why this is so important. No deal would mean that we would immediately lose access to the European arrest warrant and to crucial criminal databases. A Castleford police officer told me what no deal would mean and said “It is going to be incredibly difficult for me to do my job properly. Obviously with more serious offenders such as sex offenders who will travel, this is going to cause serious concern.”

No deal will also mean the kind of border delays that have led the NHS to stockpile. A friend told me in Pontefract that he is waiting for radiotherapy for his cancer and does not know whether that treatment will be delayed because short-life isotopes cannot be stockpiled. Major manufacturers and producers in our area such as Burberry, Haribo and Teva have told me how hard they would be hit by WTO tariffs, customs checks and border delays. We should be standing up for British manufacturers abroad, not holding them back. Local small businesses in particular have told me how much they fear being dependent on imports. They simply do not have the margins and could end up going bust if their stock is delayed. Local trade unions have warned about the impact on jobs.

Perhaps what I fear most of all is the impact of no deal on some of the most overstretched families in my constituency. We have had to set up “hungry holiday clubs” for kids on free school meals who may go hungry in the Easter holidays. In Airedale, we have had support and free lunches for families and those families are going to struggle if there is a 10% hike in food prices; it is simply not fair on them.