Next Tuesday the House of Commons will have to make an historic decision about the future of our great country. It was always made clear the result of the referendum would be binding on the Government. Indeed, when Theresa May took over as Prime Minister she pledged she would deliver on that democratic mandate. 62% of the people in Scarborough and Whitby voted to leave the European Union and therefore we all have a responsibility to deliver on that decision.
We now have an agreement that will be put to Parliament in a meaningful vote. If Parliament votes for the agreement then we will move forward through the 20 month transitional period according to the terms of that agreement. We will leave the EU on the 29th March 2019.
If Parliament votes to reject the deal then there is much uncertainty over what would then happen. We may leave the European Union on 29th March with no deal and a very hard Brexit. This will create many problems for people and businesses including fishermen who need to export crab and lobster to France and Spain and manufacturers with “just in time” production schedules dependant on frictionless trade in both directions.
Issues like this will be dealt with during the transitional period up to December 2020 when our future trading relationship with the EU, but outside the EU, can be agreed. There will be little or no possibility of resolution of these complex arrangements before next March.
If the deal is rejected, as the Labour Party hope, we may end up not leaving the EU at all – possibly after a second referendum.
I honestly believe that the Prime Minister has delivered a workable and acceptable deal. We will control our own borders and end free movement once and for all. Only we will decide who can come here to work. We will no longer send substantial sums of money to the EU so we can spend more on our priorities, like investing in our long term plan for the NHS. We will leave the Common Agricultural and Fisheries Policies becoming an independent coastal state once again. We will take back control of our laws, ending the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the UK. We will keep people safe against crime, terrorism and other threats by working closely with European countries. We will protect the integrity of our United Kingdom by ensuring there is no hard border either on the island of Ireland or down the Irish Sea. Most importantly, outside the Customs Union, we will have the freedom to strike bilateral trade deals around the world.
People in Scarborough and Whitby would wish me to cast my vote in a way that seeks the best interests of the people of the United Kingdom as we leave the EU. We must not put short term political tactics above the national interest.
I will be supporting the Prime Minister, Theresa May, as only she and the party she leads can deliver this great endeavour for everyone.
Rt Hon Robert Goodwill MP