Wednesday, 25 April 2018 04:54

PMQs: PRIME MINISTER PRESSED ON CUSTOMS UNION

The Prime Minister was pressed on membership of the Customs Union when the UK leaves the EU.

Ian Blackford MP asked, “why is it, that jobs, living standards, even the Good Friday Agreement, are all secondary concerns to this government.”

The SNP Westminster Leader said the CBI, NFU, Scottish Government, Welsh Government, House of Lords and overwhelming numbers of Members across this House want the UK to maintain customs union membership.

Last week the UK government suffered a humiliating defeat in the House of Lords over the UK’s continued membership of the customs union. A day later, the influential cross-party Liaison Committee pushed for a debate over the customs union, and now the EU has reportedly rebuked Theresa May’s plans.

The Prime Minister faces splits on the issue within her Cabinet, which is meeting later today. 

Commenting, Ian Blacford MP said:

“Why is the Prime Minister on the side of her cynical Brexiteer front benchers and not working in the interest of all the nations of the UK?

“Theresa May’s response wasn’t good enough. Her own government's analysis shows almost every sector of the economy and every region of the UK would be negatively impacted if the UK leaves the customs union.

"The UK government can no longer continue being deaf to the growing chorus of calls to protect our economy, businesses and labour market by remaining in the customs union.

“Negotiations in Brussels are effectively at a standstill because this government are bereft of ideas on how to deal with the Irish border issue.

“Will the Prime Minister confirm now that if this place votes in favour of a customs union, that will be the negotiating position of the Government?

“The SNP has consistently called on the UK government to support Scotland and the UK’s membership of the customs union – which is crucial in protecting businesses and the living standards of millions of people across the UK.”

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