United Kingdom Internal Market Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 8:40 pm on 14th September 2020.

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Photo of Christian Wakeford Christian Wakeford Conservative, Bury South 8:40 pm, 14th September 2020

I rise to support the Bill. Our internal market of the United Kingdom, which has been established and has flourished for hundreds of years despite what Opposition Members claim, supports millions of jobs and livelihoods across all four nations of the United Kingdom. It is right that we act to preserve the status quo of the internal market. It is what businesses are crying out for and is what the Bill sets out. The Bill ensures that goods can move freely throughout these isles to benefit our numerous sectors, from Scotch whisky and Welsh farming to manufacturing in the north-west of England. In 2016, and again last December, the UK voted to take back control. We must do just that and the Bill intends to do just that.

The Scottish National party claims that the Bill takes powers away from Scotland. That could not be further away from reality. Scotland sells more to the UK than to the rest of the world combined and we on the Government Benches wish for that to continue. Those on the SNP Benches wanted to revoke article 50. If they had succeeded, they would have received no new powers whatsoever. The Bill sees one of the biggest transfers of power to the devolved nations in the history of devolution, but, alas, that transfer of power does not fit with their narrative.

Like most Members, I have received a full mailbox about this Bill, with correspondence from both sides of the argument. It has been mainly from those with hashtags such as #FBPE and #rejoin on Twitter, or from those urging me to back my promise to the British people by getting Brexit done and delivering on the withdrawal agreement. Having signed up to the “Stand up 4 Brexit” pledge, I intend to do just that and back my promise to the British people.

For a successful negotiation, we need both parties to act in good faith. Hearing from my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and reading what the UK’s chief negotiator has said, it is clear that that is no longer the case. The Bill addresses the lack of good faith from the European Union and maintains tariff-free, border-free trade within the internal market. Government Members want the internal market to prosper as a truly global Britain, as my right hon. Friend the International Trade Secretary highlighted today with the Great Britain-Japan trade deal.

I am happy to see that the Opposition have finally come out of hiding with regard to anything Brexit related for the first time in months. However, Opposition Members seek to hold back our opportunities, as they have over the past four years, in a bid to reduce the great ship Britannia to nothing more than a sluggish canal barge.