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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

If there is no deal—most of us in this place want a good trade deal—there would be tens of billions of pounds to help those sectors of the economy and industry to readjust, as we have seen in previous economic cycles. It is a fact of life.

Too many people, not just in this place but outside, ignore the fact that investment and jobs are about comparative advantage. It is about how competitive our tax rates are and how flexible our labour markets are, and what our financial expertise is like—we have London and we have Edinburgh. What about our R&D and top universities? In aggregate, those are more important than WTO tariffs of 3% to 5%.

If proof of the pudding were required, with all the talk in the past few years about no deal being better than a bad deal, industry has been fully aware that no deal has been a distinct possibility and what have we seen economically? We have seen record low unemployment, record manufacturing output and record investment. This country attracted more inward investment last year than France and Germany put together. It comes down to economic reality. I am afraid that some Members of the House, in coming to their decision tonight, have not considered the economic facts.