I have recently received a number of campaign emails on Brexit, ranging from constituents urging me to support Prime Minister to leave the EU without a trade agreement at the end of the transition period, ensuring that parliament can scrutinise trade deals before they are signed, and that the UK delivers a deal before the end of the transition period.
Brexit remains an emotive and divisive issue for many and I hope it will be helpful if I set out my position;-
Basingstoke voted in the EU referendum the same as the nation with 52% voting for Brexit and 48% for Remain and I was always clear that the vote had to be respected. To have ignored it or tried to overturn it would have risked the trust of the electorate in our democratic institutions.
Outside of the EU, the UK has more control over a number of areas including our borders, laws and money. Lawmakers are also directly accountable to voters in the country and this strengthens democracy.
In the future, I believe that the UK will be able to adapt more easily to the changes and technological innovations of the coming decades. We will be able to set regulations for new sectors to encourage investment and new ideas more quickly than the EU.
The UK once again has the ability to make its own trade deals and the EU has predicted that 90 per cent of future world growth will come from outside of Europe. I believe that we are well placed to take advantage of new markets overseas.
The Prime Minister has spoken to the European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, and agreement on a trade deal has not yet been reached. Both sides agreed that it is responsible at this point to go the extra mile and continue negotiations in order to see if an agreement can be reached even at this late stage.
The UK was always due to leave the single market and customs union at the end of the year and so there is no change in this regard. Businesses would always have been required to prepare for this scenario. I would encourage you to visit the following website for the most up to date information on all aspects of leaving the transition period at the end of the month: www.gov.uk/transition.