EU Withdrawal Agreement

The EU and Theresa May’s ‘deal’ has dominated the news in Westminster this week. Although this proposal has been called a ‘deal’, it is in fact a trigger for the EU Council to meet this weekend and decide whether to endorse the proposed agreement.

 

Whilst there are some positive aspects to the agreement, there are also elements that I am disappointed with.

 

As people know, I voted for us to leave the EU, as did the majority of people in Dartford and electors around the UK. Protecting Brexit must therefore be the priority.

 

I have been contacted by some people who would like another referendum or who now want to stop Brexit – I totally disagree with this approach. We cannot treat the referendum as if it was intended to be the ‘best out of three’.

 

The meaningful vote on the deal will be very significant. What has barely been reported is that the House of Commons Procedure Committee will soon publish its recommendations on the procedure that should be adopted for the meaningful vote. It remains unclear if the choice will be a binary one between the ‘deal’ agreed by Theresa May and ‘no deal’ but I suspect it could be far more complex than that. Either way, I have always maintained that whilst a deal was always preferable, we should not fear a ‘no deal’ scenario. I do not though want this vote to be used as an opportunity by some to force another general election on the country or to stop Brexit.

 

I have spent the last eighteen months working in the Department for Exiting the European Union and most recently I have been promoted to be a Minister in the Government Whips Office and throughout that time I have become increasingly convinced that our future is best placed outside of the EU. I voted to leave the EU and would do so again.

 

It remains to be seen if the EU will move on the deal at the Council this weekend. It also remains to be seen what options will be available during the meaningful vote procedure next month. My vote will be to maximise the chance of delivering Brexit.

 

Delivering Brexit is incredibly important but I also feel that we need to place greater attention on schools, the NHS and law and order. I sense that people just want us to get on with Brexit so we can place more emphasis on our domestic agenda.

 

Sadly, Brexit remains as divisive an issue as ever, both for my party, the Labour Party and the country as a whole.