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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

The hon. Lady is unduly cynical. This is a fundamentally different deal because the undemocratic backstop has gone. Why is that so important? The backstop meant that the whole United Kingdom could be kept in the customs union and the single market in perpetuity and could leave only with the permission of the European Union. It was harder to leave the backstop than to leave the European Union; there was no article 50 provision to get out of the European Union’s backstop. Under article 4 of the withdrawal agreement, this was made superior law for the United Kingdom.

That undemocratic backstop having gone, the operation of article 4 therefore means that as a nation, including Northern Ireland, we will not be tied into the control by the European Union that there would have been under the previous deal. We will be free. We will be out of the European Union. We will control our own tariff regimes and our own regulatory regimes. We will be a free country, and Northern Ireland will be free to follow the same route by a democratic vote of the people of Northern Ireland. I am proud to stand at this Dispatch Box, not for jobbery but because the Prime Minister has done such a fine job in freeing this country.