G7 Summit

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:33 pm on 3rd September 2019.

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Photo of Boris Johnson Boris Johnson The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 3:33 pm, 3rd September 2019

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

That is why I wrote to President Tusk on 19 August to set out our arguments why any future agreement must include the abolition of the anti-democratic backstop. [Interruption.] Which, by the way, is opposed on all sides of the House. We have also been clear that we will need changes to the political declaration, to clarify that our future relationship with the EU will be based on a free trade agreement and giving us full control over our regulations, our trade, and our foreign and defence policy. This clarity has brought benefits; far from jeopardising negotiations, it is making them more straight- forward.

In the last few weeks, I believe that the chances of a deal have risen. This week, we are intensifying the pace of meetings in Brussels. Our European friends can see that we want an agreement and they are beginning to reflect that reality in their response. President Macron said—[Interruption.] Mr Speaker, Opposition Members don’t want to hear the words of our counterparts across the channel. They don’t want to hear about any progress that we might be making. [Interruption.] They don’t. [Interruption.]