Topical Questions

Part of Exiting the European Union – in the House of Commons on 5th September 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Stephen Barclay Stephen Barclay The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

Since I last updated the House, I have had the pleasure of welcoming the Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, my hon. Friend James Duddridge to his ministerial place. I should like to take this opportunity to thank my right hon. Friends the Members for Spelthorne (Kwasi Kwarteng) and for Braintree (James Cleverly), who have now both joined me in the Cabinet. We have a new Prime Minister, who is committed to leaving on 31 October, and within the ministerial portfolios I welcome the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, my right hon. Friend Michael Gove, who has taken on responsibility for domestic operational planning in the context of no deal. This enables me and my Department to focus on negotiations with the EU, in which we will seek to achieve a best-in-class free trade agreement. Throughout the summer I have visited a number of European capitals and had regular conversations with my key interlocutors, including the Deputy Prime Minister of Ireland and the French Europe Minister, with whom I had recent productive meetings in Paris.