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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

Yes, and anybody who has read the text knows it, because it is absolutely clear that there will have to be those checks.

Let me make one broader point that was made to me by manufacturers—this is not me speaking; it is what they have said to me. I will not name the company, but people from one of our major motor manufacturers said to me, “We don’t think that we would ever be able to take advantage of any new trade agreements, because we could never prove that 50% of our components come from the UK, and that is one of the rules.” That was their concern—[Interruption.] I will make this point, because it is really powerful and if people have not grasped this, they do not know what they are voting for. They said to me, “Our components come from across the EU and at the moment, we can show that 50% of them satisfy the rule to take advantage of the trade agreements that the EU has struck.” Their position is that they could never satisfy that requirement if the area is shrunk to the UK and therefore, their point to me was not that they are against new trade agreements—businesses are not—but that they will not be able to take advantage of them. That is what they said to me.