[9th Allotted Day]

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) Act – in the House of Commons at 5:29 pm on 15th January 2019.

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Photo of Craig Tracey Craig Tracey Conservative, North Warwickshire 5:29 pm, 15th January 2019

It is no secret that I voted to leave the EU, as did 67% of my constituents and nearly 17.5 million people across the UK. The reasons for voting to leave varied across the country, but I spoke to thousands of my constituents before, during and after the referendum and they were clear about what they voted for. They want to see an end to free movement, they want control of our borders, they want sovereignty for our Parliament and they want the ability to trade freely around the world. I very much share those sentiments. I was keen to see an agreement delivered that I could support. Critically, the one on offer does not meet two of the criteria set out by my constituents: the return of our sovereignty and the ability to trade freely.

My personal concerns about the deal are similar to those of many in this House, mainly on the backstop and the future legal agreement. As it stands, the deal on the table potentially gives away our sovereignty and £39 billion-worth of our money with absolutely nothing guaranteed in return.

Getting an agreement is the most favourable option, but not at any cost. I believe that, with the deal before us, we are giving too much away. It is not too late to change course. We can secure amendments that deliver wholly on the referendum result, and those changes need to include getting rid of the Northern Ireland backstop and having guarantees on our future relationship, both of which are likely to command a majority in this House and, importantly, deliver on the democratic will of the British people. It is important that that is delivered because people are so frustrated by the games of some politicians who seek to frustrate the result.

I implore the Prime Minister to go back to the EU—I know the EU has said the deal is final, but it has moved on other things and we have seen that it is able to move the goalposts when it suits—and come back with a deal that we can get behind.