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The withdrawal agreement delivers on what business wants, on the UK’s priorities, on the EU’s priorities and even on what the SNP demanded.
Business said that it wanted legal certainty and an orderly Brexit, and the withdrawal agreement delivers on that by providing legal certainty on trade, goods, customs, excise duty, intellectual property rights, data sharing, public procurement and police and judicial co-operation. All of that is jeopardised by those who do not back the deal.
Going into the withdrawal negotiations, the UK’s priorities were that the common travel area with Ireland should be maintained, that the United Kingdom should regain control of EU immigration, that citizens’ and workers’ rights should be protected and that, going forward, we would have the closest trading relationship with the European Union of any non-member state country in the world. The withdrawal agreement delivers on all those priorities.
The SNP demanded four things of the withdrawal agreement. Mike Russell called for a transition period; the deal provides it. Nicola Sturgeon called for a guarantee on EU citizens’ rights; the deal provides it. Nicola Sturgeon criticised a blindfolded Brexit; the deal ensures that that will not happen.
Mike Russell called for no hard border on the island of Ireland; the deal ensures that that will not happen. What the SNP demanded has been granted in this withdrawal agreement, and still its members are minded to vote against it.