EU Withdrawal Agreement

Part of Bill Presented – in the House of Commons at 4:56 pm on 18th December 2018.

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Photo of Vicky Ford Vicky Ford Conservative, Chelmsford 4:56 pm, 18th December 2018

I just want to make some brief points, and I will endeavour not to be nebulous. I did not vote for Brexit. I would rather not be where we are, but people were given the choice and we told them that their choice counted, so we are where we are. No deal is not attractive, nor is trying to trade on WTO terms alone. It is especially not attractive for financial services, security co-operation, the digital sector, science and research, and for advanced manufacturing.

The declaration on the future framework offers the pathway for the deepest free trade agreement and the deepest security partnership ever offered by the EU to a non-EU country. It has been agreed unanimously by the Heads of State of 27 EU countries. Five of those Heads of State are Prime Ministers from sister parties of the UK Labour party. Seven of the Prime Ministers are from sister parties of the UK Liberal Democrat party. Last Friday, those same 27 Heads of State made it clear again that they intend to honour that declaration and that they are ready to start the detailed negotiations. Suggesting that the declaration on the future partnership is somehow not meaningful insults the integrity of those 27 other Heads of State.

Furthermore, the withdrawal agreement and the future framework agreement follow the principles that have been supported in numerous resolutions in the European Parliament—in April, October and December 2017, and again in March this year. Those resolutions were all supported by the Members of the European Parliament from the Scottish National party, so I say to the SNP: if you want to avoid leaving with no deal, the best thing to do is to vote for this deal. And I say to the Opposition: if you want to have a motion of no confidence in the Government, table a motion of no confidence in the Government. It is that simple.