My intervention during the Urgent Question on the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill and Extension Letter, 21 October 2019

John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): I am glad that the Government wish to base our future relationship with the EU on comprehensive free trade agreements, but will they get on with tabling one, and show urgency in trying to secure one? The sooner we can secure one, the more reassuring it will be for Northern Ireland; and the public, who are heartily sick of all this, do not want to waste another 15 months.

May I personally thank you, Mr Speaker, for avoiding groundhog day today? I heard all the arguments on Saturday, and I do not think that I need to hear them again.

The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union (Mr Stephen Barclay):

I agree with my right hon. Friend: we need to get on to the future relationship. The House has been endlessly debating the winding-down provisions, which are contained in the withdrawal agreement Bill. The political declaration sets out a clear framework for a best-in-class free trade agreement, and we need to pass the Bill in order to get on with that.


  1. Edwardm
    October 22, 2019

    Thank you to JR for your efforts.
    I don’t know why we don’t go straight to FTA negotiations – could have been done by a year ago.
    Why so many MPs think we need to go through the purgatory of a WA first and hand over £30B+, amazes me.

  2. Polly
    October 22, 2019

    ”best-in-class free trade agreement”

    Another massive laugh……….

    That’ll be the agreement where Brits desperate for the holy grail of free trade sign away most or all of their new found freedoms….. including their fish…. and end up where they started.

    Thanks to British weakness and naivity, the EU really have this sorted. No wonder Brussels loves the ”deal”.


  3. Carson
    October 23, 2019

    It turns out you have not even read the deal you voted for yesterday! The free trade agreement that Johnson plans will apply only to GB. Northern Ireland is excluded, and is subject to the arrangements which tie it into the Irish republic in perpetuity. So of course it is not “reassuring” to us. You haven’t even understood what you voted for, which is the dismantling of the United Kingdom

    Reply I want to leave without signing the Withdrawal Agreement as I made clear.

    1. Carson
      October 23, 2019

      But last night you voted FOR signing the Withdrawal Agreement! You must think we are fools in Northern Ireland, but we watch what you do, not what you say

      Reply I voted to give the Bill a second reading, expecting then for Parliament to refuse the Timetable Motion. The PM said in that event he would withdraw the Bill.

  4. old salt
    October 23, 2019

    It’s the old old – divide and rule.

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