Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

No-deal Update - Statement

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

Alert me about debates like this

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

I thought I would be able to agree with everything the noble Lord said, for a change. I completely agree with the first part of his question. That is why, under our arrangements, we look at reasonable worst-case scenarios, because of course we do not know what the precise attitude of partner countries on the other side of the Channel will be. My colleague the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster visited Calais last week and had extremely positive discussions with the French local and regional authorities. It is certainly not their desire to cause unnecessary disruption. However, the noble Lord is also completely correct that we will need to have discussions and make agreements with our European partners either before or after our exit. We have said this. We have a constructive relationship. We hope that the Commission might want to talk about some of these issues before we leave, but if it will not, there is nothing much we can do about it.

On the financial settlement, the financial offer in the withdrawal agreement is effectively a political agreement. We accept that there are some legal obligations; we are a law-abiding nation and we will meet these. However, if the withdrawal agreement is not passed and agreed, then the obligation to pay £39 billion will fall away—some of it has already been paid, of course, because of our extension. We will need to have discussions about precisely what our legal obligations are.