The EU Withdrawal Agreement

Honouring the result of the Referendum we will leave the EU on 29th March 2019.  We will re-assert UK sovereignty but are determined to maintain as much of the benefit of our economic links with the EU as possible.

I have read in full the Withdrawal Agreement and political declaration on the future relationship.  Talking in town last weekend I believe I am not alone in thinking more people should have done so before rushing to judgement. The people of Britain were given a referendum and decided to leave the European Union. The Government has pledged to deliver that result.  This is an important time in our country’s history and, especially in the context of the last election result in which a “hung” parliament was returned, every MP needs to think carefully and act accordingly in our national interest. 

The outline future Relationship Agreement is still being finalised and my strong view, shared I believe by the vast majority, is that the Prime Minister deserves our full support as she continues to conduct hard fought negotiations in our national interest. 

Is the Withdrawal Agreement “perfect”?  No, no negotiation ever is.  However it delivers our departure from the EU, returns sovereignty to the UK and sets out to protect our trading links with the EU, on which jobs depend.

We will take back control of our money, our laws and our borders. From the end of the implementation period the days of paying vast sums to the EU will be over.  We will no longer be subject to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.  We shall leave the Common Agricultural Policy and become an independent coastal state negotiating future fishing agreements on that basis. 

The UK will determine its own immigration policy based on our national interest.

During the implementation period the UK will continue to benefit from frictionless borders with the EU and there are provisions to ensure there will be no return to a hard border on the island of Ireland. 

Our future trading relationship will be established based on the published outline.  This opens the way for a final deal in which the UK accesses the vast market on our doorstep while being able to sign independent trade deals in fast growing areas of the world, work on which is already underway.  The IMF project that 90 per cent of future global growth will be outside Europe.  Our exports to the European Union which constituted 57 per cent of the total a decade ago, now represent 44 per cent of the goods and services we sell – our future trading patterns must embrace not only our current strong relationships but those that will prosper in the future.

The Government is acting to honour the referendum and provide a sound basis for our future economic relationships.  I think this agreement gets us closer to what I am often told the country thought it was voting for in 1975:  close trade and economic ties with Europe but not political union.  I believe it will be seen to be in our national interest.