G7 Summit

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:50 pm on 3rd September 2019.

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Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke Father of the House of Commons 3:50 pm, 3rd September 2019

It seems to me that the Prime Minister’s extraordinary knockabout performance today merely confirms his obvious strategy, which is to set conditions that make no deal inevitable, to make sure that as much blame as possible is attached to the EU and to this House for that consequence, and then—as quickly as he can—to fight a flag-waving general election before the consequences of no deal become too obvious to the public. Perhaps my right hon. Friend would let me know whether that clear explanation of his policy is one that he entirely accepts. Does he also accept that if he gets his way and gets no deal, we will then have to begin years of negotiations with the Europeans and the rest of the world about getting new trade, security and other arrangements in force? Does he seriously think that this approach will obtain from any other country in the world a free trade arrangement that is half as good as the Common Market that Conservative Governments have helped to put together over the years?