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European Union (Withdrawal) Acts

Part of Prime Minister’s Statement – in the House of Commons at 12:11 pm on 19th October 2019.

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Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 12:11 pm, 19th October 2019

I do agree, but I really want to press this point. As I say, this is not just about getting a deal over the line. That is not the end of it. It is what we are getting over the line and what it means for our country. I invite the Secretary of State to intervene on me. Why were the words “as close as possible” taken out of the text? If the Government’s aspiration is to be as close as possible, why take the words out? [Interruption.] Nothing.

Let us again go through the exercise of laying the two texts alongside each other. The words about alignment are all but gone. A deliberate decision has been taken to take out the aspiration of a trading relationship that is as close as possible and a deliberate decision has been taken to take out all the words about alignment. That is not an accident. That is not a typo. That is a deeply political decision that tells us everything about the direction of travel under this deal.