Trade Bill: 17th July 2018

Stephen Hammond
The Minister is a generous man—

Anna Soubry (Broxtowe) (Con)
And a good man.

Stephen Hammond
And a good man, as my right hon. Friend says, and I know that he is fulfilling the Government’s wishes. But I remind him that I stood on a Conservative manifesto that said we were leaving “the” customs union. New clause 18 does not commit us to “the” customs union. It commits us to “a customs union”, which is a customs arrangement or a customs partnership. There is a slight deviation in the definition. This absolutely does not affect our ability to engage in international trade, for other customs unions with the EU are already in place. So I ask the Minister to think again during the 25 minutes before we vote on this matter, and to accept new clause 18.