EU-UK Partnership: EU’s Mandate

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:39 pm on 4th June 2020.

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Photo of Sammy Wilson Sammy Wilson Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Treasury), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Work and Pensions), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Brexit) 3:39 pm, 4th June 2020

I did, and I appreciated the point that was made. It is important that this is revisited, and not just for the good of the economy and businesses in Northern Ireland. It is essential that it is addressed for the sovereignty of this Parliament and for the freedom of this Government to use fiscal policy, monetary policy and any kind of state support policy for the whole of the United Kingdom.

There is hardly a business in GB that does not trade with Northern Ireland, so either they do not invest in or do not trade in Northern Ireland, or else they will find that they are subject to EU laws, and any Government policy addressed to them would be perceived as giving an advantage. By the way, that advantage only has to be theoretical, according to EU law. The effect does not have to be real, it does not have to affect sales—in theory, it does have to affect sales—and it does not have to be substantial; it can be a very small proportion of help or a very small proportion of the market. This is a huge foot in the door.

I say to the Government that, during the scrutiny of and in the reports on this, we want to see what has been done. The withdrawal agreement must not be seen as set in stone if the Government, in their own Command Paper, see it as temporary anyway, albeit with the consent of the Northern Ireland Assembly. They also have to address the issue of how the withdrawal agreement impacts on sovereignty and on the ability of this Government to conduct their own economic policy in the United Kingdom.