European Council Statement: 23rd October 2017

Anna Soubry (Broxtowe) (Con)
I commend the Prime Minister’s statement and the progress she has made in the EU negotiations. As we have heard, representatives of British businesses of all sizes and from all sectors have today written to the Government to warn of the consequences of no deal and relying on WTO rules. They said:

“The Government should give certainty to business by immediately ruling this option out under any circumstances.”

Will the Prime Minister agree to listen to British businesses, and will she even go so far today as finally to rule out no deal?

The Prime Minister
We have of course been engaging with and listening to business. I was clear that the implementation period was something that business was very keen on having to ensure that businesses had that smooth and orderly process of withdrawal, but we are in a negotiation with the EU27, and it is important to remember as part of that negotiation that we want to get a good deal for the United Kingdom, but the best way to get a bad deal for the UK is to say that we will accept anything that they give us, regardless. We have to be clear that we are working for a good deal, and I am optimistic about that because we have made some progress and I believe that the good deal we are seeking is in the interests of both sides.