Leaving the European Union

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:08 pm on 22nd May 2019.

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Photo of Theresa May Theresa May The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 1:08 pm, 22nd May 2019

The right hon. Lady referenced what has happened to Greybull Capital’s company, British Steel. She will be aware, as others will, that a number of issues and a number of challenges face the steel industry—not just in the UK, but globally—and part of that, of course, is the overcapacity issue because supply is outstripping demand. Of course, much of the excess production is coming from China. That is why in the G20 two or three years ago we acted to bring China around the table to try to deal with that issue.

The right hon. Lady asks about the long term. The compromise solution on the customs that I put forward and referenced in my statement is designed to ensure that a future Government can take that issue in the direction that they wish to take it, and for the House to determine what those negotiating objectives should be. What matters to our manufacturing industry is the frictions that take place at the border and having the benefits of the customs union in no tariffs and no quotas. That is exactly what is already in the political declaration—the benefits of the customs union—and, as I say, we are committed to ensuring that trade is as frictionless as possible.