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.
Parliamentary constraints mean that there are inherent difficulties in any deal being passed through the House of Commons, however I believe that a deal delivers on the referendum result and protects, jobs, security and the integrity of the United Kingdom.
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 have no doubt that the UK would prosper in the long term if we were to leave the EU without a deal, I do believe that this option would have a detrimental impact on my constituents and businesses in South Leicestershire in the short term.
I have, during our negotiations with the EU, supported keeping a no deal option on the negotiating table as I believe it is important that the UK has a strong position from which to negotiate from, however this would not be the preferred outcome in our withdrawal from the EU.
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 you 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.