Next phase of EU talks

This week Prime Minister, Theresa May, confirmed to Parliament that the Government is now moving onto the second phase of negotiations to leave the European Union.

A joint report, released by the UK Government and the EU last week, outlines the guidelines for the next phase of the talks which will focus on the future relationship we will have with the EU.

These first phase talks have been tough, but I am pleased the Government has argued ‘robustly’ to get the best outcome for the UK.

It is absolutely right that we honour our financial commitments to the EU, whilst at the same time getting a fair settlement for the British taxpayer.

Nobody will be 100% satisfied with every facet of the deal, negotiations are not like that, but it does allow the process of Brexit to progress which I still believe will ultimately be good for the country.

This agreement shows how foolish it would have been to have guaranteed the rights of EU citizens living here without equal treatment towards UK citizens living in the EU. Only as a consequence of us guaranteeing EU citizens’ rights have we secured the rights of our UK citizens living in EU countries. If we had unilaterally guaranteed those rights at the start, we would have had to have offered something else during the negotiations.

Over the next week, the full committee of the House of Commons will continue its scrutiny of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, before it moves on to its next stage.

No one said Brexit would be an easy road, but it is the will of the British people. Democracy must prevail and we must do all we can to ensure the best future for the British people when they leave the European Union.