7 December 2020
Sir Iain Duncan Smith backs Lord Frost and PM in EU trade talk negotiations

Sir Iain Duncan Smith backs Lord Frost and the Prime Minister who are basing the EU trade talk negotiations on the election manifesto. He says although this is entitled a trade deal, the truth is at the end of the day this is essentially about the sovereign control of our laws, our territorial waters and our trade.

The British public voted for a sovereign departure—that is to say, that we would be a sovereign nation.

Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP

Sir Iain Duncan Smith (Chingford and Woodford Green) (Con)

I thank my right hon. Friend for the statement. I, for one, absolutely have confidence in Lord Frost and the Prime Minister, who are basing their negotiations on a manifesto that won us a huge majority at the last election. The British public voted for a sovereign departure—that is to say, that we would be a sovereign nation. She is right, therefore, and does she not agree that although this is entitled a trade discussion or a trade deal, the truth is that at the end of the day, as she said, this is essentially about sovereignty? To have continuing control of our laws, our territorial waters and, for that matter, our trade are matters of sovereign control, not just trade. Will she give that message back to our negotiators, and say that they have the Government side of the House completely behind them?

Penny Mordaunt 

I thank my right hon. Friend for his comments, and for saving my breath in saying that again. He is absolutely right. I think it has been a difficulty on the EU side to come to terms with the fact that we are a sovereign equal in these negotiations. We have made this point time and again. I know that many Government Members have made that point many times, but that is the sticking point. I hope that the EU negotiators, and all member states, have heard his message loudly and clearly.

Hansard