Brexit and the Draft Withdrawal Agreement

I believe that any agreement to leave the European Union must respect the result of the referendum, this means leaving the single market and the customs union.

I understand the strength of feeling by those who call for a second referendum or a ‘People’s Vote’, however, there will not be another vote and the UK will leave the EU next year. Both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition understand that to call another vote would be to greatly damage our democracy.

The Prime Minister has worked diligently to negotiate an agreement with the European Union on the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU. While I have supported the Prime Minister throughout these negotiations, allowing her to have freedom to negotiate for the best terms, I do not feel that her agreement adequately preserves the integrity of our United Kingdom and so I will not be supporting her deal in its current form.

The integrity of our union is precious, and nothing should undermine it. In its current form, the Withdrawal Agreement threatens our union and our rights as a sovereign nation. The proposed backstop will if ever implemented, trap Northern Ireland within a customs union with the EU and keep Britain in an arrangement without any recourse to leave without the EU first agreeing. Britain must have the option to unilaterally leave whenever we choose.

I do believe that it is in the national interest and the EU’s interest for Britain to leave with a deal. It is my sincere hope therefore, that the Prime Minister returns to Brussels to renegotiate.

Only the Conservative Party will deliver Brexit. Whether an agreement is reached or not, under the Conservative Party Britain will leave the European Union on March 29th, 2019.