Brexit: Preparations - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:40 pm on 8th October 2019.

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Photo of Lord Callanan Lord Callanan Minister of State (Department for Exiting the European Union) 3:40 pm, 8th October 2019

The record will show what the noble Baroness said. I wrote down that she said it was unlawful to leave without a deal, which, as she has now correctly said, is not the case. That is now for the European Council to determine as a matter of EU law. She said that businesses would lose their data flow rights; that is also not true. We have put in place substantial mitigations through standard contractual clauses. The Statement said that this will enable the transfer of data. We are urging the EU to put in place a proper adequacy decision, which should be straightforward on the basis that our regulation is, in fact, identical. We hope that it will do that.

Lastly, the noble Baroness asked me to condemn—which I happily do—the embarrassing, incorrect tweet from Leave.EU. Germany is a close friend, neighbour and ally. That comment was appalling and I join her in condemning it.

Moving on to the points made by the noble Lord, Lord Wallace, I picked up very few questions in his contribution. He said businesses would not have different production lines, but many already do. If you want to export to the Chinese, Indian or US market, you already have to meet the different standards they have. However, I readily accept his point about non-tariff barriers. He asked about the single market being an exercise in deregulation. I think that would come as a shock to many businesses that have to meet its standards. He talked about the £8 billion cost. Yes, the cost is considerable, but much of that expense would be incurred anyway. Even if we left with a deal, we would still incur the costs of leaving.