Brexit Readiness: Operation Yellowhammer

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:31 pm on 25th September 2019.

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Photo of Michael Gove Michael Gove Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 3:31 pm, 25th September 2019

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for the points she makes. With respect to the preparations for no deal, I listed some of them in my statement. I would welcome any Member of this House who would like to visit the Cabinet Office and the Department for Exiting the European Union to be taken through the extensive preparations that we are taking. As I mentioned earlier, it is the case that on everything from the provision of transitional simplified procedures and the allocation of EORI—economic operators registration and identification —numbers to the traffic management steps that we are taking in Kent, and indeed the information that exists on, there is plenty of information that enables businesses to prepare for no deal. And, as I mentioned in my statement, that preparation will not be wasted in the case of a deal, because we are securing—well, we are seeking to secure—a free trade agreement with the European Union. With respect to negotiations, the Prime Minister, the Brexit Secretary, the Foreign Secretary and I have been clear: we are seeking to replace the backstop with alternative arrangements on the island of Ireland, and in any withdrawal agreement we want to guarantee the rights of EU citizens and move towards a future economic partnership that is based on a best-in-class free trade agreement.