Anne Main questions the PM about the Brexit backstop

3rd December 2018

Anne Main asks the Prime Minister about the status of trade deals made during the implementation period if we go into the backstop period.

The Prime Minister has twice given assurances to the House today that we can, indeed, do trade deals and that those deals can be signed and ratified, but not implemented until we have left the transition period. Can she confirm what the status of those trade deals would be should we go into the backstop period?

The backstop would require some restrictions in relation to trade deals—notably, we would be applying the common external tariffs—but there would be some freedom for us in relation to trade with other countries around the world. I am glad my hon. Friend has repeated the confirmation I have given that it would be possible during the transition period to ratify, negotiate and sign up to trade deals. Of course, it is the intention of the Government, and the clearly stated intention of the European Union, that at the end of that implementation period we will be in a position to operate those trade deals.

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