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Duties in connection with the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:30 pm on 4th September 2019.

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Photo of John Redwood John Redwood Conservative, Wokingham 6:30 pm, 4th September 2019

Well, of course, if we just leave, we take back control of our borders. We can then decide whether we wish to do anything about it. We may wish to leave in place exactly all the existing arrangements. I am not making any recommendations that would embarrass the hon. Lady or her friends in Northern Ireland. We are very sensitive about that border. Indeed, the British Government have made it very clear that they see no reason to impose new barriers or difficulties on our side of the Northern Ireland-Republic of Ireland border at all. I am sure that will be very welcome to all those in this House who are seriously worried about this issue. It makes one wonder why the backstop was ever invented or necessary. Why is it so difficult for the European Union just to strip it out given that the EU has a sincere promise—agreed, I think, by all parts of this House—that we do not wish to impose new barriers on that border in a way that could be an obstacle to good relations and the peace process?