EU-UK Partnership: EU’s Mandate

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:14 pm on 4th June 2020.

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Photo of Penny Mordaunt Penny Mordaunt Paymaster General 4:14 pm, 4th June 2020

I am afraid I am going to make some progress, I am sorry.

I can reassure the hon. Lady that we very much understand those issues. We are taking an incredibly pragmatic approach to the whole transition process and we will engage with businesses and communities thoroughly. Mr Carmichael was reminiscing down memory lane, and I fully understand why he may be sceptical about trusting the Government, but I would say to him and Catherine West that they should trust the people. The British people are full of common sense. They value rights. They value animal welfare. We should trust the consumer on food standards. There are massive opportunities for our farmers for rest-of-world trade. My hon. Friend Richard Graham quite rightly raises the importance of getting a deal, and I can reassure him that we are absolutely working towards that.

Sir Jeffrey M. Donaldson rightly raised concerns and the importance of the protocol. Ultimately, it is in Northern Ireland’s hands. Democratically elected politicians will decide its future in a consent vote. Implementing the protocol, therefore, cannot mean a maximalist or an inflexible application of EU law, or new international borders, or unwarranted burdens for Northern Ireland’s people or businesses. I can assure him about the position set out in the Command Paper. We take those obligations extremely seriously.