Irish Border: Customs Arrangements

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:41 pm on 1st October 2019.

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Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Chair, High Speed Rail (West Midlands - Crewe) Bill Select Committee (Commons) , The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 12:41 pm, 1st October 2019

I thank the hon. Gentleman for that question because it gives me the opportunity to note how much work has already been done. That which was unacceptable and unresolvable, we are now discussing actively and moving forward on. We are at a snapshot between now and next Friday, with those proposals being delivered to the Commission. So we really are moving forward.

It was always going to be the case that some of the negotiations happened nearer the end of the time limit, but progress has been made consistently, from what was quite an entrenched position, which was particularly disappointing given the sensitivities around Ireland and Northern Ireland and the border and the Good Friday agreement. It would have been nice to have done this in a slightly more deliberative way, and earlier; but we are trying to set up the negotiations in such a way that we will get the best possible result for the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, and that is getting a deal.