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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 Stephen Barclay Stephen Barclay The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 10:39 am, 24th October 2019

My right hon. Friend is right; as a former Whip, I do not need reminding of the importance of that, not least as he was my Government Chief Whip during my time in the Whips Office. Let me be clear. Officials across Whitehall, in getting the deal against a very tight timescale, worked phenomenally hard; they got it through by last Thursday. I wish to be clear and express the Government’s gratitude for the work that many officials did against very tight timescales, working with Taskforce 50 to get that deal through.

My right hon. Friend is right that we need to be clear about the impact of the administrative processes. In my response a moment ago, I alluded to the commitment that applies to the Joint Committee to mitigate those impacts. He will be aware that there are already processes around the transportation of goods—with ferries, dangerous goods obviously go on top of the deck—but we will work with hauliers to minimise any administrative processes. As I say, we will work with Members of the House to do so.