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Brexit: Negotiations - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:28 pm on 3rd October 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal 4:28 pm, 3rd October 2019

Our focus, and what we are aiming for, is a comprehensive, best-in-class free trade agreement. We believe that we can certainly achieve that. I reiterate once again, as I said in answer to the earlier question, that we have an excellent track record in relation to standards. We have made clear at this Dispatch Box time and again that we are not intending to lower standards. I referenced a few examples of where we lead the world or exceed EU minimums, which I can repeat: length of maternity leave, shared parental leave, holiday entitlement and greenhouse gas targets. Of course, once we leave the EU, it will be for this Parliament to make decisions on our standards. The strength of feeling around this House—and the view of the Government—is that we absolutely would not want to lower our standards. In fact, we may want to exceed them, and we will be able to do a lot of other things that we want to do. It is an unfair attack to say that this is about lowering standards. We have been very clear: it absolutely is not.