Northern Ireland Protocol: First Treasury Counsel

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:32 am on 9th June 2022.

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Photo of Meg Hillier Meg Hillier Chair, Public Accounts Committee, Chair, Public Accounts Committee 10:32 am, 9th June 2022

When the Government put forward the withdrawal agreement, including the protocol, they went in with their eyes open, knowing that Northern Ireland was effectively a pawn. This Bill risks further antagonising the EU—the very body with which we need to negotiate to help resolve this. Will the Minister tell the House, hand on heart, whether he is genuinely a negotiator, or whether he really believes in this tactic of throwing up sand and being bombastic in international negotiations? When I had the privilege of performing such a role for three years in the Home Office, this was not the way that we operated, and I do not believe that this is the way that he wants to operate, so will he be straight with the House?