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Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:18 am on 17th October 2019.

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Photo of Jacob Rees-Mogg Jacob Rees-Mogg Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 11:18 am, 17th October 2019

I thank the hon. Gentleman for giving me credit for it, but the credit belongs to my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, who has achieved this remarkable success in a deal that all of us can support. Every single Member who stood on a manifesto saying that they would respect the will of the people in the referendum can support the deal with confidence. All our socialist friends can support it with confidence because it delivers on the referendum result. Today is a really exciting day in British politics. All Eurosceptics—all my friends who sit where I used to sit—can rally around this great deal, and I hope that my friends in the DUP will also find that what it does for the whole of the United Kingdom is something in which they can have comfort and that they can support. I understand that our separatist friends do not want anything for the benefit of the whole United Kingdom; they are always trying to pick things apart, but they will be shown to be wrong.

Pete Wishart asked if I would at any point have to eat my words. I must say that this deal is the tournedos Rossini of a deal—it is a deal that one can eat with joy and pleasure, and it is the finest culinary delight for me to have.

I apologise to the hon. Gentleman, but I did not pay unduly close attention to the SNP conference, having other things to do of slightly more interest, although it has to be said that almost anything would have been of slightly more interest—I noticed that the hon. Gentleman was very pleased to be here in the House of Commons earlier in the week to avoid his leader’s speech. The difference between Scotland and Northern Ireland is absolutely clear, and that is the Belfast agreement—the Good Friday agreement—and the fact that there is a land border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and that is a land border with the European Union. Northern Ireland is therefore unquestionably in a unique position, hence its difference.