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No-deal Update - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:15 pm on 3rd September 2019.

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Photo of Lord Callanan Lord Callanan Minister of State (Department for Exiting the European Union) 7:15 pm, 3rd September 2019

I thank the noble Lord for his questions. On his first, about the common external tariff, I did not quite understand the point he was making. The reason the EU’s common external tariff is so high is that that is what the EU has determined. It is the decision of Brussels, or rather the EU, that it should be so high. Of course, under WTO rules, once it has been determined that it is a high tariff, it needs to be applied consistently to all third countries, but I am not sure what point he was making.

On internal security arrangements, we are working extensively to try to mitigate the effects. We have had extensive discussions in the XO committee with all the security agencies. This is one of the areas where we are trying to persuade the EU to take a different approach. There are ways to mitigate the loss of some of these databases—there are alternative sources of information on passenger information records, for example—but we are one of the largest contributors to these databases as well, and not being able to exchange information with other EU member states on terrorism suspects, criminals and so on is a loss for both us and the EU. I hope the EU will be persuaded that this really is a lose/lose situation, that it will see sense and that we will be able to continue exchanging information. As I say, mitigations are in place with regard to some of the databases. We have discussed this with the law enforcement communities and they are working intensively to ensure that we can still make the appropriate interventions in terrorism and crime.