October European Council - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:04 pm on 22nd October 2018.

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Photo of Lord Lamont of Lerwick Lord Lamont of Lerwick Conservative 6:04 pm, 22nd October 2018

My Lords, I welcome the progress that has been made in the talks. I will ask my noble friend about the two options relating to Northern Ireland, referred to by the noble Lord, Lord Hannay. On the question of the temporary UK-EU customs union, how could this be made temporary? Do the Government have in mind an end date which, I understand, was ruled out by Monsieur Barnier? Without an end date, how on earth could this be made temporary? Secondly, on the other option of extending the implementation period, will she say something about the cost? How much would that mean we would have to pay to the EU budget for each year that it was extended? If we are in for a few months only—as I know the Prime Minister hopes we will be—will we pay a full year’s subscription or just a proportion?