Gazette & Herald Column: Chequers deal will fill all the Referendum's needs for us

Summer is in full swing, and whilst that means that Parliament has decamped for the summer, there is clearly no let-up in political discourse in the news. Sadly, I have been extremely disappointed that much of the political news in recent weeks has been dominated by appalling stories of racism and bigotry, which have no place in our society, especially in politics. But of course, the other story still dominating much of our time and thoughts at the moment is Brexit. 

 

First, let me say that, like so many other MPs, regardless of my own position in the Referendum, I have always firmly believed that whatever the result of that vote, it is the duty of Government representatives to deliver.  This is why I have supported the proposals that our Cabinet agreed at Chequers recently.  What we agreed will deliver on the results of the Referendum – no ifs, no buts.  If we achieve this deal then:

 

1.     We will take control of our borders and end free movement

2.     We will take control of our fishing waters and agricultural policy

3.     We will stop sending vast sums of money to Brussels

4.     We will exit the Single Market for goods and services and the Customs Union

5.     We will be able to sign trade deals with the rest of the world, setting our own tariff levels

6.     The European Court will no longer be able to impose laws on us  

 

However, by proposing a special trading area for goods (but not services) between the EU and the UK, and agreeing to work together going forward on common standards, like the ones we currently have, we won’t create trading mayhem for businesses large and small.

 

We are working hard towards getting this proposal agreed, and of course it is a negotiation where we don’t control the outcome.  That is also why the preparations and planning for a ‘No Deal’ (which I think would be a sad, harmful and unnecessary outcome) will continue apace.  We are never frightened of adversity in this great country and have to plan calmly for all possible outcomes, but it is a poor Government indeed that doesn’t strain every sinew to get the best possible outcome for those we represent, in terms of peace and prosperity, and that is what Theresa May and her Ministers, plus thousands of hard working civil servants have done and will be doing all summer.

 

Finally, if you find yourself with some time over the summer, I would encourage you to read the White Paper on the Government’s proposals for our future relationship with the EU in full here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-future-relationship-between-the-united-kingdom-and-the-european-union.