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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 this point and then I will give way.

I know how important these issues are to many Members on the Opposition Benches, particularly the question of workplace rights, environmental rights and consumer standards. I remind all Members of this House that not a single trade union supports this deal. I urge everyone in the House to reflect on the likelihood of this Prime Minister keeping his promises.

This point has been made, but I am going to make it again. Last November, the Prime Minister told the DUP conference, in terms, that

“regulatory checks and even customs controls between Great Britain and Northern Ireland” would be

“damaging” to the

“fabric of the Union”.

He went on to say that

“no British Conservative government could or should sign up to any such arrangement”.

His words.

What does this deal do? It puts checks and controls between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It creates a customs border in the Irish sea. It does precisely what the Prime Minister told the DUP last November he would not do—typical of this Prime Minister. So, those who are considering today putting their trust in this Prime Minister need to reflect on how he has treated his supply and confidence partners—promise, then burn. I ask how anybody could trust any promise he is now making.