*** I will be keeping this page up to date, please see below for the latest updates ***
Thank you to everyone that has recently written to or emailed me about Brexit. As you would expect I have had a huge amount of correspondence over this, and everybody that had written to me prior to last weekend should have received a response. I will continue to respond to those that have written to me since that time. I am also responding to a lot of policy correspondence that is broader than Brexit, and as ever I continue to support constituents on personal concerns that they raise with me. When emailing me, please ensure that your email address is included, particularly through third party campaigns.
I thought it might be helpful to set-out my position below, together with some explanatory slides.
Over time since the Referendum and over the last week or two in particular I have received an incredibly large volume of emails and letters from people on all sides of ongoing Brexit debate, and I would like to sincerely thank everyone who has taken the time let me know their individual views, all of which I take incredibly seriously. I have also been visiting and hearing from businesses locally about great opportunities and possible challenges they face, and this Friday I will again be out and about locally, visiting Angela Coaches and Coopervision to meet with the team and discuss their views on Brexit, particularly in relation to our tourism sector and our manufacturing industry. Meanwhile, I will also be visiting Hamble Primary School, meeting with local Headteachers, as well as visiting Fleming House to support the Red Bag Project Launch.
This highlights that while Brexit is unsurprisingly at the very forefront of our minds, by the same token, many also wish us to move Brexit forward so that we can focus on domestic issues such as schools, the NHS, roads and local services, which many also write and speak to me about.
That is why getting on with delivering on the result of the referendum outcome remains an absolute priority for me, and is also why I am supporting the deal – the only deliverable deal – on the table, taking back control of our laws, our money and our borders, while rightly protecting jobs and the economy that we as Conservatives are proud to have built up from the ashes of Labour’s recession since 2010.
I know that many constituents have raised concerns over the so called backstop, and I would like to be absolutely clear that it is not in the EUs interest to enact this. It would mean we would have open trade with them while ending free of movement of people, and that might well become attractive to other countries over the years. They therefore have their own incentive to move on to a future free trade agreement to supplant the backstop.
Like many of those that have written to me, I remain concerned that from the moment the result of the EU Referendum was announced, opposition Parties – including the local Liberal Democrat’s - were lining up to frustrate Brexit, and wherever possible reverse it completely. If the deal that local businesses and local residents have been telling us they support isn’t approved next Tuesday, the Brexit that the majority of us voted for could be delayed, diluted, or never happen at all. I don’t think the EU 27 would be able to negotiate or ready to negotiate a much different deal, even in the unlikely event that they wanted one, and that is why I am supporting this deal. I would like us to go into Christmas in a place where businesses and families can plan for the new year and next few years so we can build on the bold, bright and global future the PM has rightly been focused on for us all.
*** UPDATE 10th December 2018 ***
The Prime Minister is due to make a statement to the House of Commons today at 15:30. I will be in the House of Commons Chamber for that Statement, and will be updating this page afterwards.
*** UPDATE 11th December 2018 ***
On Monday I was in the Chamber to listen to the Prime Minister’s Statement, and fully support her decision, having listened to MPs across the House of Commons, to delay the vote on the proposed Brexit deal.
Having spoken to many of my colleagues as well as local constituents and businesses, it is clear that there is broad support for many of the key aspects of the deal which gives us control of our borders, our money and our laws and protects jobs, security and our Union.
However, there remain concerns over one issue, the Northern Ireland backstop. Therefore, this week the Prime Minister has been meeting with Heads of Government, the European Commission and European Parliament to discuss the Brexit Deal and reported back the concerns over the so called ‘Backstop’. As soon as there is a further update, I will provide it below. In the meantime, you can read the Prime Minister’s full Statement, click here.