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European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:51 pm on 22nd October 2019.

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Photo of David Lidington David Lidington Conservative, Aylesbury 3:51 pm, 22nd October 2019

I recognise the concerns expressed by business, although I also note that the view expressed by business representative organisations in Northern Ireland has generally been that Parliament should go ahead with this deal and enact the legislation, but then address the concerns that the hon. Gentleman rightly identifies that they raised. I therefore ask my right hon. Friends on the Front Bench to also act swiftly to minimise the impact that additional inspections and red tape required by the new policy will impose on Northern Ireland businesses. That might include financial support, particularly to small and medium-sized enterprises to enable them to buy and operate new systems; efforts to simplify or dedramatize checks and form filling required; and for the Government to give urgent priority to such measures as seeking a veterinary agreement with the European Union and other such arrangements that would enable the risks to Northern Ireland business to be minimised.