Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Section 1 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2019

Part of Exiting the European Union (Sanctions) – in the House of Commons at 4:11 pm on 9th April 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Owen Paterson Owen Paterson Conservative, North Shropshire 4:11 pm, 9th April 2019

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. Very helpfully, he has moved me on to my next point. I am looking at the clock, and I will be quite brief.

The biggest danger to business at the moment is uncertainty. Last week, sadly, we had the resignation of my hon. Friend Chris Heaton-Harris—or “Dane-tree”, as it was pronounced when I used to work in Northampton. He said to the Prime Minister:

“whilst I would have preferred to leave the European Union with your deal, I truly believe our country would have swiftly overcome any immediate issues of leaving without a deal and gone on to thrive.”

It is absolutely clear that there has been a relentless campaign by “Project Fear” against no deal. There is no such thing as no deal; there has already been a succession of mini-deals. We were told that aeroplanes would not fly; that has been sorted out. We were told that drugs would not arrive; my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health has fixed the drugs problem. We know from Monsieur Puissesseau, who runs the port of Calais, that people there are relaxed. Looking at the World Trade Organisation terms, the WTO facilitation treaty, and the sanitary and phytosanitary terms, it is clear that it is illegal for our partners to arbitrarily stop the shipment of goods that conformed the day before we left. This whole issue of no deal has been blown up out of all proportion; it is a last stand for remain.