Shailesh Vara rejects taking ‘no deal’ off the table in the Brexit negotiations

14th February 2019

Speaking in the debate on the Prime Minister’s statement on leaving the EU, Shailesh Vara rejects any idea of taking ‘no deal’ off the table in the negotiations and supports the Prime Minister’s call to “hold our nerve.” 

The right hon. and learned Gentleman is being extraordinarily generous in giving way. No self-respecting businessman or woman would walk into negotiations on a deal and take no deal off the table. The United Kingdom is negotiating the biggest business deal in its history. It therefore makes sense to keep no deal on the table, because we know from the history of the EU that it makes concessions at the last minute. We need to hold our nerve. If we do, then at the wire we will get a good deal in the interests of both the EU and the United Kingdom.

I do not know how to let the hon. Gentleman down gently, but let me try this: we are so patently unprepared for no deal that it is not credible. Let me give an example. There are very serious allegations against people in custody across the EU under the European arrest warrant, which goes between our country and the EU27, and vice versa. If we leave without a deal, no arrangements are in place to deal with that. The idea that we will leave in such a way is simply not credible.

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