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International Business Community

Volume 645: debated on Thursday 19 July 2018

10. What steps he is taking to ensure that the Government engage with the international business community during negotiations on the UK leaving the EU. (906544)

The Government have regular and productive dialogue with the international business community, and the DExEU ministerial team has visited 18 EU member states this year alone, meeting businesses to understand their priorities and explain how our proposals enable businesses to thrive. Tomorrow, the Secretary of State and the ministerial team will be meeting business leaders from a number of countries at Chevening House, which is a dedicated opportunity to hear from them.

One issue that the business community has raised is continuing access to the working and investment capital currently supplied through the European Investment Bank. What arrangements are the Government making to ensure that continued flow of capital to our businesses?

My hon. Friend is right to point out that investment is crucial for the economic future of our nation and of the wealth creators in our country. The UK believes it may be mutually beneficial to maintain some form of ongoing relationship with the European Investment Bank, and we are exploring those options now.

What assessment have the Government made of the costs to international and domestic business of preparing, amidst the chaos of this Government, for all the possible outcomes of new relationships with the EU?

As has been set out this morning on many occasions, the Government are carrying out extensive preparations for all outcomes. No deal is not our objective, but we are preparing for that scenario, as is responsible and expected. Our future framework White Paper, however, sets out how we see our economic relationship working with the EU so that UK and EU businesses can continue to trade fruitfully as we leave the EU.

Following on from that question, when will the Minister’s Department properly publish an impact assessment for all sectors on the impact of a no deal scenario, in contrast to the shambles that we saw at the end of last year?

The Government have been clear that we will provide the appropriate analysis at the time that a deal is presented to Parliament. Many predictions of impacts and outcomes were made at the time of the referendum, but let us look at the facts. Manufacturing is at a record high, exports are rising faster than imports, and unemployment is at its lowest in 40 years. Let us base our predictions on the facts, not on scaremongering.