An urgent question was granted today on our ability to share research and provide treatments for rare diseases. I used my question to press upon the minister if we would still be part of a European wide institute designed for tackling rare diseases following a Brexit on 31 October 2019. The UK is a member of this organisation, which is backed by €1,000,000.
I’m sad to say that the minister could not guarantee we would retain our access to this vital fund and service. Instead stating that any future agreement would decide our access. I cannot see why the UK Government would want to see us lose access to this important organisation that tackles some of the most horrific diseases.
Following the Prime Minister’s visit to Brussels to take part in the Council of Ministers – the forum where Ministers/Prime Ministers from every elected government meet to set the direction of travel within the EU – she returned to the House of Commons to give a statement on its conclusions. The meeting with primarily focused on security and climate change.
That is why I asked the Prime Minister if she would confirm that leaving the EU in a no deal scenario would mean that we lose access to EUROPOL, EUROJUST, the European Arrest Warrant and SIS 2 – the border security monitoring databases.
As an outgoing Prime Minister I would have hoped for straight talking answers. She has no need to try and defend herself from her backbenches as they have already started selecting their next leader. The Prime Minister should have confirmed that we would lose access to these vital security measures. Instead she focused on internet security. It is time we had a grown up discussion about a no deal Brexit. Something this UK Government will not have.
Labour pulled the Government back to the House of Commons today to answer series questions over what they intend to do next week with the third meaningful vote and the Statutory Instrument – the measure needed to change our departure date from the EU.
I pointed out to the Minister, that outside of Westminster their are people trying to plan their lives and organise their businesses but can’t because of the utter confusion at the heart of government.
The response was not reassuring at all. The Minister talked of ‘hopes’ and ‘intends’ but could give us a date. That’s all we wanted and that is all people want across the country.
The contempt being shown to Parliament and the people is negligence in the highest order. The next seven days are going to be the most important in modern UK history and it is time our Government acted in the national interest and not in its own.
Recently, the EU signed the biggest free trade deal in history between Japan and itself. For the last few remaining days we remain members of the EU we will benefit from it. However, if we crash out we lose access to the free trade agreement.
Earlier on in the questioning, my colleagues asked if the Trade Secretary expects us to have exactly the same benefits of this trade deal when we leave the EU, he answered no but stated that we would join the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership which he said was a much better deal.
I asked the Minister how long he thought it would take for us to try and join this trade group. The answer? Eight long years. This is eight years of lost economic growth, eight year of loss for potential new jobs and eight years of standing on the sidelines whilst other nations rush ahead of us.