Worcester MP and Brexit Minister Robin Walker has outlined his commitment to supporting amendments to the Government’s Brexit deal ahead of tonight’s vote. The vote seeks a negotiated and secure exit from the EU, by delivering on what the majority of Worcester voted for in the EU referendum.

The Prime Minister alongside President of the EU Jean-Claude Juncker, and the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, have announced a joint agreement which will strengthen and improve both the Withdrawal Agreement from the EU, and the Political Declaration on the future relationship.

The secured changes address concerns that reduce the risks that the EU could keep the UK in the backstop indefinitely; and which commits both sides to aim to replace the backstop with alternative arrangements by December 2020.

The new key commitments include:

  • A legal commitment that both parties aim to replace the backstop with alternative arrangements by December 2020
  • There is nothing to prevent the UK instigating an end to arrangements if there is no prospect of an agreement on the future relationship.

The amended deal ensures the commitment set out by both parties in January is legally binding and confirms assurances the Government made to the people of Northern Ireland, and therefore reduces the risk that the EU could keep the UK in the backstop on a permanent basis outside of the implementation period.

Robin recognises that there are a wide range of views in his constituency, and in Parliament, on the best future relationship between the EU and UK, but only by ratifying the Withdrawal Agreement can negotiations move forward. Robin has every confidence that the UK will succeed after leaving the EU but believes the best way of doing so is to ensure the UK leaves the EU with the deal that has been negotiated.

After years of work and debate to get to this stage, a majority of constituents in Worcester want the UK Government to get on with the process. Robin has heard from people who voted on both sides of the referendum who want the Government to find a consensus that respects the result and provides certainty as soon as possible.

Having worked to achieve a deal that enables us to take control of our laws, our money and our borders and ends the jurisdiction of European courts in the UK whilst also protecting citizens’ rights, avoiding a hard border in Ireland and settling any financial disputes, Robin believes it needs to be secured.

Speaking ahead of tonight’s vote Robin said:

“I will support the Prime Minister to secure a deal to negotiate our exit from the EU, as I believe it is important to uphold the vote of the referendum. I believe that the deal being put forward to Parliament would deliver a better outcome for the United Kingdom than a no-deal”

“A second referendum would erode the very basis of democracy by suggesting that rule by the majority is an insufficient condition for democratic legitimacy, undermining all political decisions for the foreseeable future. It would cast a pall over political life in the UK, undermining national political institutions and delegitimising the very basis of democracy itself as a mode of collective decision making.”

“I am confident that our strong economy will continue to deliver for the British people in all scenarios, but I want the strongest possible economy for the jobs and livelihoods of the people I represent and most of all I want to provide certainty to constituents and businesses; that is why I support this deal and why I encourage colleagues from all sides of the House to do the same.”