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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 6:45 pm on 4th September 2019.

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Photo of Stephen Barclay Stephen Barclay The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 6:45 pm, 4th September 2019

My right hon. Friend is correct that the European Union, like the United Kingdom, wants a deal, and it is worth reminding the House why that is the case. While its position on money, citizen’s rights and the Northern Ireland border has been unified, the impact of a no-deal outcome is asymmetric across the EU, particularly on issues such as fishing and geographical indicators that are not protected. It is worth reminding the House that there are over 3,000 European geographical indicators, but just 88 UK GIs, so when we hear that the EU is fully prepared for no deal—that my counterpart, Michel Barnier, says it is fully ready for no deal—there is a difference between legislation or regulations it may want to put in place and the reality of operational readiness, which is much more varied between member states.

This Bill is about delay. It is about legislative purgatory. It is about disguising the true intent—not of all colleagues, because there are some who have voted for a deal three times—of many who voted against a deal not once, not twice, but three times, yet then say that they are against no deal, as well. This is a Bill that is designed to stop Brexit and comes at a cost of £1 billion a month—£1 billion that we want to see invested in our frontline in the way the Chancellor set out. This is a Bill that is flawed. I urge colleagues across the House to oppose it on Third Reading.

The Chair put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair (Order, 3 September), That the amendment be made.