MP for Windsor
Working Hard For You
Bracknell News Column: Wednesday, 19 July 2017

It’s going to be a busy summer for Ministers, Trade Commissioners and Trade Envoys as new trading relationships are forged and old ones redefined as we leave the EU.

Brexit Minister, David Davis, will have his work cut out in a gruelling series of meetings and document exchanges and, no doubt, responding to various leaks and briefings by those seeking to gain the upper hand.

The groundwork to support his efforts is in place. First, the people voted to leave the EU in the referendum. Second, Parliament voted to empower the Government to trigger Article 50. Third, the Prime Minister gave notice to the EU that we are leaving. Now the Repeal Bill has been published and will repeal the European Communities Act and ensure that control of our laws returns to the UK.

We will also see supplementary legislation to control immigration, set up a new customs system and continue with our international obligations.

Taken together these steps form a comprehensive plan for Britain’s future. The next round of talks, led by David Davis, will get deep into the substance of what needs to be agreed in a mutually beneficial way.

I am particularly pleased that the rights of British and EU citizens is the first priority, so that people can quickly get the re-assurance they need to plan for their futures. The idea that post-Brexit Britain would shun the EU citizens was always a bogus argument and it’s good to see the fears being laid to rest.

Above all, I’m delighted that we have a re-invigorated outward-looking approach to international trade. As the Prime Minister’s trade to Ghana, and having visited other parts of West Africa, it is quite clear to me that our friends abroad are crying out for closer trade a diplomatic relations with the UK.

With Brexit underway, we are now in a position to begin to satisfy the demand for UK investment, goods, services and expertise overseas. We are also able to champion free-trade arrangements from the US to Africa, Asia and Australia and the mutually beneficial boost to jobs and prosperity they bring.

Clearly there will be bumps in the road and an undulating running commentary before a final exit deal is agreed. But I am confident that the Government has the right plan for an internationalist and outward facing Britain and a mutually beneficial deal with our EU friends.

Bracknell News Column: Monday, 13 March 2017

The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill has passed through the Lords without amendment and Theresa May now has the power to trigger Article 50. As a result Britain is poised to begin its departure from the European Union.

The House of Lords has an important role in scrutinising and improving draft legislation and thankfully the unelected Chamber didn’t seek to block the will of the elected Commons.

2017 will be a turning point in our nation’s history

Future historians will look back on 2017 as a turning point in our nation’s history. And I believe that they will say that the UK’s departure from the sclerotic and inward-looking European Union allowed us to begin a new and brighter chapter in our national story.

 

Earlier this year, our Prime Minister gave a magnificent speech spelling out the UK’s future direction as a dynamic, sovereign, free-trading nation. However, this requires taking certain steps now, starting with triggering Article 50 and setting out plans to leave the jurisdiction of the European courts, the Single Market and the Customs Union.

 

This week, MPs were in the chamber debating on whether or not to give the Prime Minister the authority to trigger Article 50. The wording of the bill is brief and uncluttered. It is a binary question. I have always been clear that I will vote to trigger Article 50. The Referendum was approved by Act of Parliament and the Conservatives pledged to ‘respect the result’ of that referendum in the 2015 manifesto on which we were elected into Government.

 

But debate is healthy and I am glad that we have the opportunity to discuss the many facets of agreement and disagreement in the Chamber.

 

I fully expect that a huge majority of MPs will vote to give the Prime Minister the authority to trigger Article 50. Theresa May will then be able to go to the European Council with not only the legitimacy of the referendum result, but also of Parliament. Putting beyond any doubt the authority for the Government to take Britain out of the EU.

 

Our nation’s path over the next two years may include bumps in the road, both political and economic. However, I am certain that we have a Prime Minister, a Government and a set of British values with which to steady the course and make a great success of Brexit.