G20 Summit: 7th September 2016

Anna Soubry (Broxtowe) (Con)
I congratulate the Prime Minister on the way in which she, quite rightly, puts forward the huge benefits of free trade. I know that she will be aware and share the concerns of, notably, the financial and automotive sectors about any consequences of our abandoning our membership of the single market, which of course ensures that we can trade free of customs duties and with all the benefits that the single market confers. Although she is right to say that we do not want a running commentary on what now faces us, may I urge her to consider the fact that we do need some principles? What assurances can she give us about customs duties and tariffs, and about our membership of the single market?

The Prime Minister
I absolutely recognise the important role that our automotive industry plays in the United Kingdom. I was very pleased to visit Jaguar Land Rover in Solihull a few days ago to see the huge success that has been made of that company, with the extra employment it has brought and, as I say, the growth that it continues to make.

On the issue of the sort of language used about membership of the single market, access to the single market and so forth, I would say this to my right hon. Friend. As I said earlier—I repeat it again—we want the right deal for trade in goods and services for the United Kingdom. This is about saying, when we are outside the European Union, what the right relationship will be with the European Union on trade. That is why it is important for us not simply to think of this as trying to replicate something here or something there, but actually to say, “What is the deal that we want for the future?” That is the work the Department for Exiting the European Union is doing at the moment, looking at and, in particular, talking to different sectors—the automotive industry will be one of those sectors—to ask what they are looking for and what they want to see, so that we can forge the deal and then go out there, be ambitious and get it.