British Foreign Secretary brings Caroline Lucas back to timetable for exit in the tense public struggle
The Green Party MP questioned why the Government had already decided to end the Brexit transition period by 2020. Ms Lucas argued it would be better to wait until June before making such a commitment. However, Mr Barclay pointed out that his party “gave a manifesto commitment” to stick to that timetable and they would honour it during a tense clash in the Commons.
Ms Lucas said: “Just last month it was the Commission President who said she had serious concerns about this timetable.
“All experts in trade are concerned that with an 11-month time period there simply isn’t the time to necessarily get a good deal done.
“So why are we signing up to something now that we could at least postpone until June when we have a better sense of how negotiations are going.
“Rather than cutting off our nose to spite our face by saying now that we won’t extend the implementation period.”
Mr Barclay replied: “In short for the reasons I have already given to the House set out in the political declaration that there is a shared commitment there.
“But also because on this side of the House, we gave a manifesto commitment to stick to this timetable.
“I’m sure the honourable lady would be the first to criticise the Government if it made a manifesto commitment and then decided not to stand by it.
“So we are committed to the commitment we gave on timescale and that is why we want to move forward.”
Earlier today Sajid Javid slammed Labour MPs as “weirdos and misfits” in a fierce House of Commons clash with Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Peter Dowd.
Mr Dowd criticised the Chancellor of the Exchequer for productivity falling at its fastest annual pace for five years.
He said: “Mr Speaker the Prime Minister’s special adviser now wants a civil service perhaps modelled on the cabinet comprised of weirdos and misfits with odd skills.
“So as a member of that cabinet what weird explanation does the Chancellor have as to why according to the office of national statistics productivity is falling at its fastest annual pace for five years.”