European Free Trade Association — [Mike Gapes in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:30 am on 7th February 2018.

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Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Conservative, Wimbledon 9:30 am, 7th February 2018

In response to Dr Huq, it is, of course, not my decision who is in the high command, but I understand her sentiments. I absolutely hear her point about financial services. That is why I was very pleased to see the Government taking the initiative and offering unilateral passporting to financial services. Of course, that will work to the greater benefit only if we are able to ensure that the European Union agrees the terms as well, but it was a good start. I wholeheartedly agree with her that the Government’s commitment on EU citizens must be made real and be part of the deal.

Stephen Kinnock is absolutely right. In terms of my hon. Friends who are Brexiteers—a few of them are in the Chamber today—I was discussing with one of them last night that the EFTA arrangements are something we can build a consensus around in this country. That is a sensible option, suiting both sides of the argument, and I would welcome any of the pragmatic leavers, including a number who advanced this case during the referendum, joining the cause and arguing for EFTA.