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Us Tariffs: Scotch Whisky

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:19 pm on 7th October 2019.

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Photo of Conor Burns Conor Burns The Minister of State, Department for International Trade 5:19 pm, 7th October 2019

We want to try to persuade our friends in the US—I can go on repeating that; I will doubtless get into trouble with the Chair if I do so. He is no longer in his place, but as I said to Chuka Umunna—and, to judge from a leaflet that came through the door of my flat in London last week, the aspirant Member for Westminster —he has consistently taken the view that the membership of the EU on current terms was the best deal for the UK. That is a consistent, logical and admirable view to take. It is his view and I respect it. It was not the view of the British people in 2016 when they voted to leave the European Union. They knew what they were voting for because we sent a leaflet telling them what it meant, and we have to deal with that reality. Many of us on the Government Benches, and indeed in other parts of the House, think there are great opportunities for the United Kingdom outside the European Union. Jamie Stone is right that we should absolutely have an ongoing trade agreement with the EU, which is why I would urge him and others from across the House to get behind the Prime Minister in his moderate, sensible, flexible offer to the EU. Let us get a deal across the line. That would be much more constructive than his party’s position of arguing for the revocation of article 50.