I entirely understand and appreciate the strong feelings associated with this most important matter concerning our nation's withdrawal from the European Union.
The British people voted to leave the EU. Turnout was larger than at any election since 1992 and no Prime Minister or party in British history has ever received as many votes as the vote to leave did. I fully respect the decision made by the electorate both in South Leicestershire and the wider country and I believe that the Government has a duty to deliver the referendum result. However, it is important to note that the Prime Minister must act within the constraints of the results of the General Election in 2017.
These Parliamentary constraints mean that there are inherent difficulties in the Prime Minister's plan being passed, as would be the case in seeking approval from any alternative plan or deal, however I believe that this deal delivers on the referendum result and protects, jobs, security and the integrity of the United Kingdom.
There is no other deal available, it is in the national interest and therefore I support it and the Prime Minister. I have consistently voted for the deal as I believe this delivers on Brexit. I voted for the indicative votes process as I believe it is important we can find a way forward which delivers upon the referendum result.
I will continue to back the Withdrawal Agreement to ensure that the UK takes back control of its laws, borders and money. An end to free movement, the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice coming to a close and vast budget payments to the EU ending once and for all. We will also be out of the Common Agriculture Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy. EU and UK citizens will have their rights protected, including for healthcare and pensions. They will be able to continue to live their lives broadly as they do now.
Under the withdrawal agreement, both sides have agreed to create a free trade area that will mean no tariffs, fees, charges or quantitative restrictions for goods. This is a unique deal. No other advanced economy in the world has such a relationship with the EU. At the same time, the UK will be able to negotiate its own international trade deals from the start of the implementation period. This will allow us to take advantage of the estimated 90 per cent of world growth that will come from outside the EU in the future.
While I understand the logic and rationale for maintaining the option of a no deal scenario, Parliament has been clear that it will not support such an outcome in the Brexit process and similarly I agree that this option would have detrimental effects for businesses both in South Leicestershire and the wider country.
While I appreciate the frustration many constituents may feel following the Prime Minister’s agreement to an extension in the withdrawal process until the end of October, I should like to reiterate that this does not remove the urgency of us leaving the European Union. I remain against any idea of revoking Article 50 and I believe that the Prime Minister can secure a withdrawal that seeks to deliver upon the result of the referendum while protecting our economy.
I should like to reassure that I will continue working hard to find a route that bypasses the Parliamentary deadlock, that allows the UK to leave the European Union in a smooth and orderly manner in the line with the referendum result.
Please do be assured that I, as your Member of Parliament, will keep my promise to the people of South Leicestershire and the UK to take decisions in the best interests of the British people.