Worcester’s MP has expressed his delight at the news that a deal has been reached between the UK Government and the European Union which addresses the concerns that stopped previous deals passing through the UK Parliament, secures a transition and will allow the UK to leave the EU in just a couple of weeks’ time, with a deal. Robin has consistently voted to respect the 2016 referendum and has argued that the best way to do so is with a deal.
He was thrilled to hear this morning that after weeks of hard negotiation, the Prime Minister has brought back a revised withdrawal agreement and political declaration from Brussels, removing the controversial backstop and he has called on MP’s across the political spectrum to get behind it.
Securing the new deal would mean:
- The UK leaves the EU on 31st October with immediate effect
- It does so in an orderly way and with an agreement backed by all 27 members states of the European Union
- A transition period is secured running to December 2020
- We will be free to strike our own deals and those deals will apply across the whole United Kingdom including Northern Ireland
- We will be in control of our own laws and the supremacy of the European court will end
- The backstop has been abolished and there is no risk that the UK or Northern Ireland could be held in a relationship with the EU that did not have consent
- The Good Friday Agreement will be fully respected with no hard border and protection of the common travel area, rights and the peace process
Both as a local MP and as a Minister Robin has heard loud and clear the value of having a transition period which only a deal could provide and of having certainty about the future relationship. The new deal makes clear that that relationship should be a strong one based on a best in class trade deal and agreements on science, security, culture and education but one based on the fundamental recognition of the UK as an independent sovereign state outside the European Union. It also differs from the previous draft future relationship on giving the UK a clear veto on any future defence cooperation, addressing another of the key concerns that constituents had raised on the previous agreement.
Serving as a Northern Ireland Minister, Robin is acutely aware of the importance of having arrangements that respect the unique history and context of that part of the UK and has consistently supported taking measures to protect the good Friday agreement. He was pleased to see that the new protocol on Northern Ireland places this at its heart as well as following the principle of consent which is at the heart of that agreement. Over the past few months he has met with countless businesses, individuals, councillors and farmers in Northern Ireland who have been clear with him about their preference for a deal and one that protects the absence of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. This deal does that whilst also respecting Northern Ireland’s place in the United Kingdom.
Speaking about the deal and today’s debate which allows the House of Commons to sit on Saturday to debate it, Robin said:
“I am thrilled that we have a new deal to support and that the Prime Minister has proved the naysayers wrong by negotiating hard and getting Brussels to change the Withdrawal Agreement. This now removes that barriers that prevented Parliamentary approval of leaving with a deal in March and means we can get on and deliver Brexit. I have always been clear that we should respect the outcome of the 2016 referendum but that the best way to do this was with a deal. Three years spent working in the Department for Exiting the European Union and the last few months in the Northern Ireland Office have only reinforced that view.”
“I was happy to support coming back on Saturday to debate this and I am pleased to be have been asked to be part of the team of ministers who will take a new withdrawal agreement bill through parliament. I would happily vote to sit every Saturday and Sunday and into the night to get this done and to secure the orderly exit with a deal that I know businesses and my constituents want to see. Although I have to be honest that I would have accepted the previous deal in order to secure our exit from the EU on time, I do think that the improvements that the Prime Minister has secured should make this an even better deal that more colleagues in Parliament can get behind.”
“The country is tired of Parliament endlessly wrangling over the timing and nature of our exit from the European Union, businesses are fed up with uncertainty and further delay will do nothing to increase the certainty that they need. Colleagues who have sought compromise to get a deal done are fed up with the extremes of the argument ganging up to stop progress being made. It is now clear the even the European Union would rather see this deal secured and the issue settled than to have yet more dither and delay. We should get on and secure this deal so that the country can move forward and focus on the myriad other issues that matter. The surge in the pound on the announcement that a deal was reached is a sign of the huge boost to investment and confidence in our country that can be secured. MPs of all parties should take the chance to secure it.”
“In recent weeks we have heard increasingly hysterical warnings from some quarters about the risks of no deal. I have always been clear that a deal is the better option, but I say to all those who have said they will do anything to avoid a no deal Brexit that now is your chance. Vote with us to secure this deal and you can rule out that no deal in the best way possible, a way that delivers on the referendum result and offers the opportunity to bring the country together. Continue to hold out for no Brexit and you risk precisely the no deal scenario that you have been warning against. Labour MPs, in particular, should reflect that they were elected on a manifesto promise to get a deal and deliver the referendum result. They should keep their promises and vote for this deal.”
Notes to editors
For more information on the Brexit, please see:
For more information on the new Brexit deal, please see: