Iain Duncan Smith seeks Government confirmation that UK taking control of its borders is not negotiable

5th September 2016

I welcome my right hon. Friend’s return to the Front Bench. As someone who recently left it—voluntarily, I have to tell him—I unreservedly welcome him. I also welcome his incredibly optimistic tone on the whole idea of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union and forging a new relationship with the rest of the world.

On the specifics of the statement—[Interruption.] The one specific is that we are leaving the European Union. On that specific, I wonder if I might press my right hon. Friend. In the media today, we have had a certain amount of speculation on the detail in terms of controlling our borders. Will he confirm that, in leaving the European Union, the No. 1 thing that is absolutely not negotiable is that the United Kingdom will take control of its borders and the laws relevant to that and that that is not negotiable in any other deal?

I thank my right hon. Friend for his question, and I would say two things. First, the referendum provided the biggest mandate ever given to a British Government, and the question of immigration clearly played a large part. Secondly, the Prime Minister has made it very plain that the current state of immigration cannot go on and that we will bring it to an end as part of this process.

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