European Union (Withdrawal)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:38 pm on 3rd September 2019.

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Photo of John Baron John Baron Conservative, Basildon and Billericay 9:38 pm, 3rd September 2019

I rise in opposition to this motion and in support of my Prime Minister, essentially for two reasons. The first is that there is more than a whiff of arrogance in this motion. Too many remain MPs in this place will use any device to try to block Brexit. There are honourable remain Members, but I am afraid that there are too many who are not. The decision was delegated by this place to the people, and they made their decision very clearly. We have been kicking this can down the road for three years and to many outside this Westminster bubble, enough is enough. I remind the House that the majority of Members who are going to support the motion voted in favour of triggering article 50, which said, very simply, that we would be leaving the EU with or without a deal. We have twice extended that time line, and that is why people outside this place are getting very frustrated with many colleagues here tonight.

Apart from the arrogance, this decision is ill-informed. It will make a bad deal more likely. Anyone who has negotiated in business or with any organisations will know that if the other side believes that one is not prepared to walk away, it will make for a worse deal—it is a simple fact of life. Most of us in this place prefer a good trade deal to no deal, but the guaranteed way of getting a bad deal is to take no deal off the table. Business people in this House, and many who have negotiated deals, will understand that.

This decision is also ill-informed from an economic point of view. No deal has been derided without examining a lot of the economic facts. Time does not allow here and now for those points to be made—[Interruption]—and too many people are talking anyway, so they would not hear them. I would merely suggest that people reflect on the fact that half of the EU’s top 10 trading partners trade on WTO no-deal terms with parties outside the EU—it is a simple fact of life.