[9th Allotted Day]

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) Act – in the House of Commons at 4:41 pm on 15th January 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Heidi Allen Heidi Allen Conservative, South Cambridgeshire 4:41 pm, 15th January 2019

That is the most important point, because this is about the future, not today, and certainly not yesterday.

Here we are today with a non-binding political declaration that will inevitably—indeed, this is already the case—become a negotiating tool for leaders in other EU countries: France for access to fish; and Spain for game-playing with Gibraltar. The biggest risk for me is the possibility that our next Prime Minister may not honour the negotiating principles in that declaration. With this Prime Minister’s position assured, I would perhaps have more confidence, but there is a very real danger that the Government may be led by someone who wants a hard, no-deal Brexit. In that instance, the political declaration, non-legally binding, would not be worth the paper it is written on.

I ask myself: will this deal definitely improve opportunities for my constituents, will it really safeguard jobs, and will it guarantee scientific and medical collaboration? No, no, no. Will it support our services industries, which make up 80% of our economy? No—they are not even part of the deal. So I have no regrets; I have no reluctance. For me, the decision is as clear as day. This is not good enough for my country. So let us harness what unites us in Great Britain and Northern Ireland—that pride and determination to demand the best for the future. Let the people be part of this serious decision. Let them vote on this deal. Let us ask them—is it good enough?