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Stephen Timms: I am pleased that the policy has not changed, but why is the Secretary of State changing the legislation?
Stephen Timms: rose—
Stephen Timms: The Government’s impact assessment for the Bill states: “Goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will be required to complete both import declarations and Entry Summary (ENS) Declarations”. Is that statement correct?
Stephen Timms: I echo the final sentence of the hon. Member for Ribble Valley (Mr Evans) but not much else of what he said. The Prime Minister was understandably very anxious to hold the general election before the Bill was scrutinised. As we go through the Bill in detail, the impact of his agreement on the UK will become apparent. The agreement will do a lot of damage to our constitution and to our...
Stephen Timms: Undoubtedly, the measure does that, but it is hardwired into the deal that the Prime Minister has done. What he means in claiming that there will be no checks across the Irish sea is anyone’s guess—just read the Government’s own documents. His statement is quite clearly untrue. The Treasury presentation on the Northern Ireland protocol that we have been reminded of makes the position...
Stephen Timms: I wonder whether my right hon. Friend has read the Government’s impact assessment for this Bill, which says at paragraph 241: “Goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will be required to complete both import declarations and Entry Summary…Declarations,” thereby flatly contradicting what the Prime Minister has been saying.
Stephen Timms: rose—
Stephen Timms: Thank you, Mr Speaker, and many congratulations to you. The Committee Chair reminds us that if the Prime Minister is unable to respond within 10 days he is required to provide an explanation for that failure. He has not provided an explanation, which, we understand, is unprecedented. Why has the Prime Minister not complied with the requirement placed upon him?
Stephen Timms: The level playing field clause would not constrain any improvement in workers’ rights, but it would limit and stop the reduction of workers’ rights, so why did the Prime Minister want that clause to be removed from the legally binding withdrawal agreement?
Stephen Timms: Will the Secretary of State straightforwardly confirm that the deadline set out in her party’s 2017 manifesto will not now be achieved? Competition between mobile providers has been very fruitful for consumers over the past 20 years, particularly in reducing call charges. How will Ministers make sure that future fruitful competition will not be blunted by this collaboration?
Stephen Timms: rose—
Stephen Timms: I just want to emphasise the need for scrutiny. In an earlier intervention, the right hon. Gentleman said that this Bill is repealing the European Communities Act 1972. In fact, in clause 1, it reimposes it. Surely that should be scrutinised properly by the House.
Stephen Timms: I am grateful to my right hon. and learned Friend for focusing attention on manufacturing. Is it his assessment that this deal would lead to new rules of origin checks and other red tape on UK manufacturers exporting to the EU?
Stephen Timms: Does the Prime Minister understand the worries of manufacturers about new rules of origin checks and other red tape that his deal would impose on them, and the fears of Make UK that reassurances in the deal negotiated by his predecessor have been dropped from his deal?
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: What has become of the Tory party? If the Minister really believes that a £15 billion additional burden on business is acceptable, can he tell us how large a burden would be unacceptable?
Stephen Timms: Child poverty is being driven up by the five-week delay during which people have to wait before they receive universal credit. Will the hon. Gentleman confirm that what Ministers refer to as an advance is in fact a loan that has to be repaid by claimants, and will he commit to scrapping the five-week delay?
Stephen Timms: In the referendum, the right hon. Gentleman held out the prospect of frictionless trade with the European Union. I think he has acknowledged that, whatever else one says about the proposals, they would not result in frictionless trade. For what reasons has it not been possible to deliver what was promised?
Stephen Timms: I congratulate the hon. Member for Glenrothes (Peter Grant) on securing the debate. I would like to say a little more about the case I referred to in an earlier intervention. By the time of the letter I wrote on behalf of my constituent, Mrs A, on 30 September 1999, the father, Mr A, had been assessed as being due to pay just over £100 per week towards child maintenance. He never paid. He...
Stephen Timms: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?