Leaving the European Union Debate

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Department: Cabinet Office

Leaving the European Union

Baroness Morgan of Cotes Excerpts
Wednesday 22nd May 2019

(1 year, 8 months ago)

Commons Chamber

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Cabinet Office
Theresa May Portrait The Prime Minister
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22 May 2019, 1:30 p.m.

The right hon. Lady referenced what has happened to Greybull Capital’s company, British Steel. She will be aware, as others will, that a number of issues and a number of challenges face the steel industry—not just in the UK, but globally—and part of that, of course, is the overcapacity issue because supply is outstripping demand. Of course, much of the excess production is coming from China. That is why in the G20 two or three years ago we acted to bring China around the table to try to deal with that issue.

The right hon. Lady asks about the long term. The compromise solution on the customs that I put forward and referenced in my statement is designed to ensure that a future Government can take that issue in the direction that they wish to take it, and for the House to determine what those negotiating objectives should be. What matters to our manufacturing industry is the frictions that take place at the border and having the benefits of the customs union in no tariffs and no quotas. That is exactly what is already in the political declaration—the benefits of the customs union—and, as I say, we are committed to ensuring that trade is as frictionless as possible.

Baroness Morgan of Cotes Portrait Nicky Morgan (Loughborough) (Con)
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22 May 2019, 1:31 p.m.

It is difficult to make any judgments about a Bill when it has not been published. If there were issues with purdah, the announcement should not have been made this week. Next week, this House is in a recess, which is very nice for all of us, but it is not needed, given the seriousness of the situation. I will probably vote for the Bill when it comes back, but please can I ask the Prime Minister to reflect very carefully on whether it should be put to Parliament, because the consequences of its not being passed are very serious? If she really wants to heal the divisions and to get on with it, I ask her to reflect very seriously about this Bill not being put to Parliament in early June and being allowed more compromise and more time being taken.

Theresa May Portrait The Prime Minister
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22 May 2019, 1:39 p.m.

My right hon. Friend is right that, if the Bill is not passed, this House will be faced with a stark choice. That choice will be whether Members go for no deal, for revoking article 50 or for a second referendum, with the intention that many have, in asking for a second referendum, to stop Brexit. That will be the choice that will face this House.

People talk about the compromises that have been made so far. There are people who are telling me that I have compromised too much in the package that has been put forward and others who are telling me I have not compromised enough in the package. At some stage, the House has to come together, and we have to decide the distance that we will go together in order to deliver Brexit and to deliver on what people asked us to do.