The Government has secured a deal with the EU, covering how we leave the EU and what our future relationship should be like.
I blogged about it when it was first published: http://chloesmith.org.uk/local/news/brexit-blog-provisional-terms-of-the-draft-withdrawal-agreement. Since then, it has been agreed by the heads of all the other European governments. It will need to be voted on in our Parliament, in mid-December.
I’ve heard from lots of constituents since it was first published, and I want to thank everyone who’s taken the time to get in touch.
I think this deal is worthy of support and I plan to vote for it in Parliament.
First of all, you can read more about what the deal consists of, here.
As the Prime Minister has said, delivering Brexit has meant difficult choices for everyone. I do understand that there are concerns about some of what is in the Withdrawal Agreement. So there are some compromises here. But that’s what a deal is.
This deal is the only one on offer. I have seen no alternative blueprint either in this country or the European capitals that delivers Brexit. No one should be under any illusions that the EU would be prepared to scrap this deal and start again.
I fear voting down this pragmatic, comprehensive deal would only mean more uncertainty, more division, and a failure to deliver on the decision made in one of the largest democratic mandates taken in this country. Now we have reached the stage where a good deal is within reach we cannot risk going back to square one, this would risk no deal or even no Brexit at all.
Crucially, this agreement will take back control of our laws, borders and money whilst also maintaining the integrity of our United Kingdom. The agreement also protects the rights of more than three million EU citizens living in the UK and around one million UK nationals living in the EU.
If we agree how we are withdrawing, we can move forward to finalising the details of our ambitious future partnership with the EU. So this agreement, hard-won though it is, is actually not the final deal but a starting point for our future relationship with Europe.
The British Government and the EU have agreed on the creation of a free trade area for goods, with regulatory and customs cooperation and zero tariffs. This is the first ever such agreement between an advanced economy and the EU. Common ground has been reached too on our intention to have a close relationship on services, which I have argued before are very important to many thousands of jobs in Norwich.
For us here in Norwich, I see that this agreement offers the best available access to European markets. There’s no other advanced nation in the world that has a better deal. This deal offers stability at an uncertain time, and an environment you can succeed in. That is crucial for businesses, and I have always said that my constituency priority is to support a deal which is good for jobs and businesses here in Norwich.
We can all recognise that there have been different views about Brexit up to now. Since the referendum, some people have continued to argue passionately for the things they believe are right. I understand those arguments, and even where I don’t agree with them myself, I respect the people making them.
I know some people argue we should have another referendum, but I don’t think that is the right thing to do. Living in a democracy means respecting the result of any election. Now it’s time to move on. Our whole country has had its say in principle through the referendum, and it is for the Government and Parliament to deliver on that and sort out the detail – which is what this deal does. Our country doesn’t need more uncertainty or more division – we need to succeed.
This is a deal that the nation can unite behind and one I believe Parliament should back. You can read more about that choice here.
Let’s get behind it, help people come back together again, and make a success of our future partnership with our European neighbours.