From the outset of negotiations, the British Government have, understandably, had their red lines. They are long-standing and unchangeable red lines. It is understandable also that our negotiating partners in the EU have their red lines, which they have stuck to rigidly throughout. Today and last night, the Irish Taoiseach has said that the proposals the Prime Minister has laid before the House today break those red lines and are unacceptable. In the words of the Taoiseach, “It’s a non-starter.”
Why has the Prime Minister brought before the House proposals that are simply unacceptable to the EU? They are breaking the red lines that the EU has had from the outset. If the EU had done the same to us, he would be using the most outrageous language against it, yet he has brought something here that is completely unacceptable from the outset. Why?