EU Exit Negotiations

19th October 2020

Andrew Mitchell highlights the consequences to the EU of a no deal exit. 


My right hon. Friend knows from our time in Cabinet together that I have nothing but the greatest possible respect and admiration for his negotiating skills and abilities. Given that we are advised that fish and state aids are the main stumbling blocks to a deal, will he draw to the attention of Monsieur Macron, the President of France, the fact that if there is no deal on fishing, there will not be any French boats fishing in British waters, and that the size of the British fishing industry is approximately 1.7% of the size of the British car and automotive industry? Finally, will my right hon. Friend remember that one of the reasons that Mrs Thatcher imposed a three-line Whip in support of the European single market Act was to stop false competition as a result of the unfair use of state aids?

I am very grateful to my right hon. Friend for the three important points he makes. First, I am sure that the French President and others are increasingly aware of the point he makes about the consequence of no deal. Secondly, the automotive sector is vital not just to the economy of the west midlands but to the whole UK, and we need to make sure that we invest in it for the future. And his third point is right: we need to have our own state aid regime, not the European one, but we also need to make sure that it is consistent with our market principles.