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Britain's Place in the World

Part of Speaker’s Statement – in the House of Commons at 3:13 pm on 15th October 2019.

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Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 3:13 pm, 15th October 2019

I do not know how many times I have stood at this Dispatch Box pressing amendments for a permanent customs union and single market alignment, and for a level playing field on workplace rights, environmental rights and consumer rights. Every time I have done so, all but a handful of Conservative Members have promptly gone into the opposite Lobby to me to vote against. We have now reached a point—[Interruption.] I was asked a question, so I am just going to complete the answer. The five propositions around which we could see a deal emerging were set out in the detailed letter from the Leader of the Opposition to the then Prime Minister just before the cross-party talks started, so it may well be that people disagree with what that deal should look like but the idea that we have not set it out is not a fair one. Having got this far, having had two and a half years of failed deals and division, the only way now to break the impasse is to put whatever the deal is back to the public so that they can make a simple decision: do we want to leave on the terms on offer or would we not rather remain and break the impasse? I do not think this House is going to be capable of breaking the impasse without it.