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Stephen Timms: ...of connections elsewhere in Europe, and one of the worries that small and medium-sized businesses have is whether they will be able to continue to recruit staff from other EU countries after Brexit. Will she acknowledge the strength of concerns of firms in the Thames Gateway, and can she offer them any reassurance about the prospects after Brexit?
Stephen Timms: I am sorry to hear that. Brexit was supposed to deliver frictionless trade, the exact same benefits as the single market and the customs union and an extra £350 million a week for the NHS, but the Prime Minister was not able to deliver and any actual Brexit deal will fall far short of those promises. Should not the voters get the choice between proceeding on the basis of whatever deal is...
Stephen Timms: ...time, I want to raise the subject of amendment (g). I commend the Chancellor for his efforts to explain to Cabinet colleagues that having your cake and eating it is not an option available on the Brexit negotiating table. Very hard choices will have to be made. Does the Chancellor agree that, given the scale of what is at stake in Brexit, the option of remaining in the single market must...
Stephen Timms: ...markets in emerging economies and contribute to UK soft power and cultural exchange, but Europe is their most important marketplace. They are particularly worried about the prospect of a no-deal Brexit, which could put the survival of some well-known British orchestras at risk. Even with a deal, if the UK is going to leave the EU, orchestras need assurances, particularly ahead of the...
Stephen Timms: According to the Federation of Small Businesses, of those small businesses that export, 82% export to other EU member states. What plan does the Minister have to support small businesses through Brexit?
Stephen Timms: The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders reported today that car production is at a high, but that investment in car manufacturing is falling because of uncertainty over Brexit. How long will the current uncertainty undermine investment in the British economy?
Stephen Timms: The tech sector’s No. 1 Brexit concern is that, when we leave, it will become unlawful to send personal data from Europe to UK firms unless the European Commission has declared our data protection arrangements to be adequate. What steps are being taken to secure that declaration in time?
Stephen Timms: The No. 1 tech Brexit worry is that when we leave, it will become unlawful to send personal data from Europe to the UK unless we have achieved an adequacy declaration from the European Commission about our data privacy arrangements. Important businesses will overnight become unviable. Will that declaration be achieved in time?
Stephen Timms: ...passports. For example, US banks can locate subsidiaries in the UK and then trade freely across Europe. In the Minister’s view, what are the prospects for keeping all those jobs in the UK after Brexit?
Stephen Timms: ...in food processing plants for 70% of the employees to be EU migrants. It is not clear where their staff will come from in the future. Is the Minister committed to defending that sector in the Brexit negotiations, so avoiding price rises from that driver?
Stephen Timms: Has my hon. Friend seen the recent forecast that a WTO-based Brexit would cost the UK economy 75,000 jobs in the financial services sector alone? Is he not absolutely right to talk about the grave dangers that that would pose to the British economy?
Stephen Timms: Assessing the impact of leaving the European Union on the different sectors of the UK economy is surely basic spadework for the negotiations, yet the Brexit Secretary told the Select Committee last week that none of it has been done. Why not?
Stephen Timms: Is it not now inconceivable to pass a meaningful vote before the EU Council next Thursday and therefore unavoidable to seek a lengthy Brexit delay and to hold European Parliament elections?
Stephen Timms: The Department’s assessment is that any form of Brexit will leave us worse off than if we stayed in the European Union. Will the Minister simply confirm that that is his Department’s view?
Stephen Timms: In June, HMRC said that at least 20% of the 10,000 trucks reaching Dover on day one of a no-deal Brexit will not comply with French customs, leading to very long delays and causing shortages of fresh food and medicines. How many non-compliant trucks does HMRC currently project at Dover on day one?
Stephen Timms: But the Prime Minister has said this morning that Irish customs checks will be the reality after Brexit. So where will the checks envisaged by the Prime Minister take place?
Stephen Timms: Ministers recognise that the key to the level of chaos at Dover after a no-deal Brexit is the number of non-compliant trucks arriving without customs documents. In June, HMRC estimated that number to be at least 20%, or 2,000 a day. What is HMRC’s current estimate?
Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to paragraph 4.5 of Brexit – the impact on British Orchestras, published by the Association of British Orchestras in December 2017, what discussions he has had with the EU Commission on maintaining access to the A1 system after the UK leaves the European Union; and if he will make a statement.
Stephen Timms: ...Telegraph, on 19 February, with the headline: “Tech industry warns Ministers not to drop EU security laws”. The report began: “The British tech industry has issued a stark warning to leading Brexiteer ministers that diverging from EU data protection standards after Brexit will ‘undermine’ the UK’s status as Europe’s leading tech hub.” The Secretary of State is absolutely...
Stephen Timms: The reality, unfortunately, is that the hard Brexit that the Prime Minister is now pursuing will lead inexorably and inevitably to a hard border in Northern Ireland. Between Canada and the United States, there are border checks of exactly the kind that she rightly says—unlike the Foreign Secretary—that she does not want in Northern Ireland. Will she confirm that she cannot name a single...