Brexit: Preparations and Negotiations - Motion to Take Note

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:07 pm on 23rd July 2018.

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Photo of Lord Callanan Lord Callanan Minister of State (Department for Exiting the European Union) 3:07 pm, 23rd July 2018

Of course we are not reneging on the Prime Minister’s words, but my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU made it clear yesterday that we expect a future partnership to be agreed at the same time; it will sit alongside the withdrawal agreement and no money will be paid unless the future partnership is delivered. In these circumstances, it is the duty of any responsible Government to prepare for every eventuality, including the unlikely scenario that we reach March 2019 without agreeing a deal. It is essential that plans are in place to mitigate the risks and ensure stability, whatever the outcome of these negotiations. The Government’s legislative programme in this Session provides for a range of negotiation outcomes, including that of no deal.

In the last few months we have passed the Nuclear Safeguards Act, the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act and the Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Act, preparing the UK for a future outside the European Union. I am grateful to the House for the constructive way it has engaged on this legislation.

We have been taking other practical action to ensure that we have the infrastructure in place—for example, recruiting 300 extra Border Force staff, with a further drive to recruit another 1,000, launched earlier this year. The Government have been working on nearly 300 no deal plans for almost two years. Some of these are already in the public domain. As we announced last week, over August and September the Government will release a series of technical notices to set out what UK businesses and citizens will need to do in a no deal scenario. This due diligence is designed to provide reassurance that the Government are prepared.

I note the great number of speakers listed for today’s debate and I look forward to hearing all the contributions. Before I resume my place, let me make it clear that we strive to strike the very best deal with the EU, and whatever the outcome of our negotiations, we stand ready to make a success of Brexit.