Iain Duncan Smith calls on the PM to ensure that political ramifications are considered by the EU negotiating team

21st January 2019

Iain Duncan Smith welcomes the Government’s decision to waive the fee for EU citizens to continue living in the UK and the Prime Minister’s announcement that she will go back to the EU to seek further changes. He calls on the PM to ensure that a senior politician is involved in the day-to-day negotiations in Europe to consider the political ramifications.

I welcome my right hon. Friend’s statement, particularly the part in which she said that EU nationals would have their fee waived—the whole House should recognise that—and also her acceptance that there is to be no change to the Belfast agreement, as I recognise completely that that would have opened a can of worms. As someone who did not support the agreement last week, I welcome the fact that she has also made it clear that she will now go forward and seek further change. In doing that, has she given further thought to the idea that, although she would remain absolutely in complete overall charge, she could insert a senior politician in those day-to-day negotiations to ensure that the political ramifications are taken carefully into consideration?

The negotiations at this stage are for politicians. Indeed, I will continue to have a role, as will the Secretary of State, as we go forward. What we need to ascertain is where we can ensure that we can secure the support of this House for a deal, and then take that forward to the European Union.