Leaving the EU: Extension Period Negotiations — [Mr Laurence Robertson in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:55 am on 22nd May 2019.

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Photo of Eddie Hughes Eddie Hughes Conservative, Walsall North 9:55 am, 22nd May 2019

I do not know the answer to that. I am not aware of the story, but I do know that a couple of weeks ago Which? magazine published an article that said that TUI should not describe hotels that are not on the beach as being on the beach, so perhaps there are some other practices going on. I am not sure what the reasons are, but I am damn sure that we will continue to holiday in Europe: mostly in Spain, as it turns out. Perhaps Peter Grant will share his travel plans for the summer with us later. I am going off course—we are a great nation with a great opportunity that has not been delivered by the Government so far.

So what happened? I came to Parliament and went along with my dear friend, my hon. Friend Mr Clarke, to see the then Immigration Minister. We said, “We don’t think you are making good enough preparations for no deal, because those pesky people from mainland Europe will spot that, although we are telling them we are preparing for no deal, the fact that we have not submitted a single planning application to build any new infrastructure at our ports will probably give the game away that we are not actually committed to it.” It was like playing cards with somebody who had a mirror behind them. They were looking at our hands and saying, “We know you do not have aces. You are not building anything, and that puts us in a great position to negotiate a very weak deal for you and a very strong deal for us.”

Margaret Thatcher said she had the patriotic belief that the British people could achieve anything. If only our Prime Minister had that same belief in our great nation, we might not be in the position that we are in today. When we look forward to any future negotiations, let us believe in this great country, let us understand the reasons why 17,410,742 people voted to leave, and let us deliver on what they voted for because they deserve better.