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European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:07 pm on 22nd October 2019.

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Photo of Iain Duncan Smith Iain Duncan Smith Conservative, Chingford and Woodford Green 3:07 pm, 22nd October 2019

Although I am not on a time limit, I know that time is short, so I will be as brief as I possibly can to ensure that everybody else can get in.

Some 25 years ago, the Maastricht treaty finally passed into UK law. I remember with some fondness going on many occasions through the Lobby to vote against the Government—heaven forfend—and I was always joined by the jolly figure of the current Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn. We shared many a conversation about how terrible it was and how, given the opportunity, we would one day join together to repeal the European Communities Act 1972. I am sorry to say to the Leader of the Opposition, in genuine friendship, that I would love to know what happened in the intervening 25 years that changed his mind about the European Union such that he now no longer wishes to repeal that Act. I miss our friendship and would like that to be put on record. [Interruption.] As my hon. Friend Mr Baker said, it was literally the only thing we ever agreed about.

Today, I am going to—