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Trade Bill - Committee (4th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:15 pm on 4th February 2019.

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Photo of Lord Bates Lord Bates The Minister of State, Department for International Development 7:15 pm, 4th February 2019

That is the noble Lord’s position on this: the reality is that the Prime Minister is seeking an agreement that can command a majority in the other place and that requires compromise. That is what the agreement represents. The House made its view on the withdrawal agreement clear; she is now seeing whether that can be addressed with the Commission. Personally, I wish her well and every possible success, as opposed to my own mis-speaking. Lest it be on the record, I am sure that Sigmund Freud would have observed that perhaps I had momentarily let slip an inner feeling, which, of course, has nothing to do with the position of Her Majesty’s Government, which I consistently seek to put forward from this Dispatch Box and proudly support.

The noble Lord, Lord Purvis, asked about support for government amendments that preclude the facilitated customs arrangements. We would argue that there is nothing about the amendments made to the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Act in the other place that is inconsistent with the draft political declaration that will inform the future relationship. On the point made by the noble Lords, Lord Hannay and Lord Stevenson, about insufficient focus on VAT implications, the Government have been clear that we are aware of the potential impact on businesses of any move away from the concept of acquisition VAT, but we have also set out that in any scenario we are seeking to avoid any adverse effects. Amendment 80 does not affect that in our view.