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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 will make one more point and then I will give way. I just want to reinforce my point and then I will pause.

Not only have the aspiration for “as close as possible” and the references to alignment been taken out, but the new text removes the backstop as the basis of the future relationship—not the backstop in its own right, but as the basis for the future relationship. That is very important because it means that the starting point for the next stage is a baseline FTA with no safety net for workplace rights, consumer rights and environmental standards. They have gone from the binding legal withdrawal agreement altogether. They are found—I will come back to them—in the political declaration. They have gone out of the binding agreement and into the political declaration.