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Checks on Goods: Northern Ireland and Great Britain

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:39 am on 24th October 2019.

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Photo of Mark Harper Mark Harper Conservative, Forest of Dean 10:39 am, 24th October 2019

I have listened very carefully to these exchanges. May I perhaps suggest to the Secretary of State that there is a solution here that requires Ministers getting a grip of officials? The starting point is that we want unfettered access. We only have to apply controls in strictly limited circumstances, so why don’t we start with not having any businesses having to fill in forms and only having a requirement on businesses that present a risk of not complying with those strictly limited international obligations? That might well go some way to allaying the fears of our confidence and supply partners. I remind him—he does not need reminding as an experienced former Whip—that, if we had them with us, today we would be completing consideration of the Bill and be on track to leave the European Union next Thursday, and we are not.