Results 1–20 of 1017 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Robin Walker

European Free Trade Association — [Mike Gapes in the Chair] (7 Feb 2018)

Robin Walker: I start by congratulating my hon. Friend the Member for Wimbledon (Stephen Hammond) on securing this important debate on the European Free Trade Association, to which I am delighted to respond. I note that he beat our hon. Friend the Member for Eddisbury (Antoinette Sandbach) in securing this debate, but as my hon. Friend and colleague at DExEU, the Member for Wycombe (Mr Baker), said in...

European Free Trade Association — [Mike Gapes in the Chair] (7 Feb 2018)

Robin Walker: We are absolutely focused on achieving a deep partnership between the UK and EU. Of course we need to look at our contingency plans, and I am sure Ministers will take note of this debate in that regard, but we want to focus on achieving a partnership that in many ways goes beyond the EFTA arrangements we have discussed.

European Free Trade Association — [Mike Gapes in the Chair] (7 Feb 2018)

Robin Walker: No, I need to make a little progress because I have got quite a lot to try to cover. Membership of EFTA alone does not automatically guarantee UK access to the EU single market, and EFTA states have the different trading relationships I have described. In this debate, most people have spoken about the EEA and EFTA. The EEA, which is sometimes referred to as the Norway model, would mean the UK...

European Free Trade Association — [Mike Gapes in the Chair] (7 Feb 2018)

Robin Walker: The Government are ambitious about the extent of the trade agreement we can do with the EU. The EU has a number of trade agreements with other countries where there is mutual recognition and regulatory alignment, but not the absolute harmonisation of rules. I do not accept the premise of the hon. Gentleman’s argument. I will not be able to cover all the comments, so I want to focus a...

European Free Trade Association — [Mike Gapes in the Chair] (7 Feb 2018)

Robin Walker: I will give way for the last time.

European Free Trade Association — [Mike Gapes in the Chair] (7 Feb 2018)

Robin Walker: My hon. Friend makes an interesting point. It is certainly true that a number of the EFTA states have those bilateral arrangements, but it is important to note that even if EFTA members were to welcome us back—as the hon. Member for Glenrothes pointed out, that is not a certainty—we would not have immediate or automatic access to their 27 FTAs. Our entry into each one would need...

European Free Trade Association — [Mike Gapes in the Chair] (7 Feb 2018)

Robin Walker: I will not right now. We want continuity, rather than the replacing of agreements with their mostly shallower EFTA counterparts. We are already in discussions with third countries over how to put the arrangements in place upon exit, and I will come back to that point.

European Free Trade Association — [Mike Gapes in the Chair] (7 Feb 2018)

Robin Walker: I cannot give way right now because I have to cover a few more points. Another important drawback of EFTA membership is that it requires free movement between its members. A number of Members have touched on that. It is true that Liechtenstein has a derogation from the principle of free movement of people under the EEA, but Members will agree that the UK is in many respects different from...

Exiting the European Union: Regulatory Equivalence (1 Feb 2018)

Robin Walker: We are fully focused on making the UK’s exit from the EU and our new trading relationship with the world a success. We have set out proposals for an ambitious future relationship with the EU that minimises regulatory barriers for goods and services. Our partnership should be underpinned by high standards, a practical approach to regulation, trust in one another’s institutions and...

Exiting the European Union: Regulatory Equivalence (1 Feb 2018)

Robin Walker: Regulatory equivalence is about pursuing the same objectives, and as the Prime Minister outlined in her Florence speech, that could mean achieving the same goals by the same means or achieving the same goals by different means. It does not mean that we have to harmonise our rules with those of the EU. It is not a binary choice; we are proposing a bespoke, bold and ambitious free trade...

Exiting the European Union: Regulatory Equivalence (1 Feb 2018)

Robin Walker: The Government have been talking to a wide range of industry groups and representative bodies of business, and we recognise that there are benefits in some areas of maintaining regulatory alignment and ensuring that we have the most frictionless access to European markets. Of course we are entering the negotiations on the future partnership, and we want to take the best opportunities to trade...

Exiting the European Union: Regulatory Equivalence (1 Feb 2018)

Robin Walker: The Government’s policy is that we are pursuing a bespoke trade agreement, not an off-the-shelf model. We believe that it will be in the interests of both sides in this negotiation to secure an implementation period.

Exiting the European Union: Regulatory Equivalence (1 Feb 2018)

Robin Walker: The Prime Minister has repeatedly set out a coherent position with regard to the future partnership we seek with the European Union. There was the Florence speech. My Secretary of State has been making speeches and the Chancellor has been making speeches, clearly setting out the UK’s objectives for these negotiations, and we look forward to achieving those objectives in the months to come.

Exiting the European Union: Regulatory Equivalence (1 Feb 2018)

Robin Walker: Absolutely; I can give that assurance. It is very important that we do secure the agreement based on the joint report and that that secures the position on the territorial integrity of the United Kingdom.

Exiting the European Union: Non-UK EU Nationals (1 Feb 2018)

Robin Walker: As the Prime Minister made clear in her open letter to EU citizens, we highly value the contributions they make to the UK’s economic, social and cultural fabric. Safeguarding the rights of EU citizens living the UK and UK nationals living in the EU was a first priority for negotiations. This is a commitment we have delivered on. The agreement reached in December in the joint report...

Exiting the European Union: Non-UK EU Nationals (1 Feb 2018)

Robin Walker: The hon. Lady should welcome the fact that we reached in the joint report agreement on the wide range of rights that I just described, and that does provide certainty. We want to work with colleagues at the Home Office to ensure there is a streamlined process for the new settled status that will come in under UK law, to secure those rights in the long term.

Exiting the European Union: Non-UK EU Nationals (1 Feb 2018)

Robin Walker: We have been clear that during the implementation period, EU citizens should be able to continue to visit, live and work in the UK as they do now, and we will use that period to prepare for the future partnership. There will be a new registration scheme for EU nationals in preparation for our future immigration system. The citizens’ rights agreement reached in December, set out in the...

Exiting the European Union: Non-UK EU Nationals (1 Feb 2018)

Robin Walker: We will remain an open and tolerant country that recognises the valuable contribution of those with the skills and expertise to make our society better, but we will also control the overall number of migrants who come to the UK. As we leave the EU, we are seeking to form new ambitious trade deals around the world with trading partners anew. We will have control of our borders, and free...

Exiting the European Union: “Scotland’s Place in Europe” (1 Feb 2018)

Robin Walker: I have seen the report that the question refers to, and I know that the Secretary of State for Scotland discusses the Scottish Government’s priorities with them regularly at the Joint Ministerial Committee (EU Negotiations). There is considerable common ground between us on what we want to get out of the process, such as making sure that Scottish universities and business have access to...

Exiting the European Union: “Scotland’s Place in Europe” (1 Feb 2018)

Robin Walker: The Government are seeking a successful deal for the whole UK, including Scotland. Four times as much of Scotland’s business is with the UK as with the rest of Europe. The worst thing for Scottish jobs and businesses would be to split up our United Kingdom.


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