Shailesh Vara seeks an assurance from the Prime Minister that the Government is preparing for no-deal which strengthens our negotiating position and means that, if we do have to leave with no-deal, we can do so with confidence and without fear.
This House very much appreciates the Prime Minister’s desire to leave with a deal. However, the Prime Minister will appreciate that a responsible Government must prepare for all eventualities. There are Members of this House who do not favour a no-deal scenario because they feel that the country is not ready to leave in such circumstances. Given that we are now in extended territory in terms of leaving the EU, will the Prime Minister kindly give the House an assurance that she has given instructions to the Government to prepare for no deal, should we reach that eventuality? I hope that she appreciates that doing so not only would strengthen our position as far as the EU is concerned in further negotiations, but would mean, if we did have to leave on a no-deal basis, that we could do so with confidence and without fear.
It is right, as we have not yet agreed a deal on the basis on which we are leaving the European Union, that we continue to make preparations for all eventualities. However, I also say to my hon. Friend that, in a no-deal situation, it would not simply be a question of what the United Kingdom Government had done; it would be a question of what other Governments in the European Union had done. While any preparations would be made to mitigate the impact of no deal, of course there would be elements outwith the control of the UK Government.