Statement on the Prime Minister’s New EU Deal

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has negotiated a new deal with the EU.

I shall be voting for the deal when we return to Parliament on Saturday and I call on all colleagues from all parties to do the same. This is an opportunity for many of those MPs (on both sides of the chamber) who have said they want to avoid no deal, to ensure that doesn’t happen. The EU have made it clear they have no tolerance for extensions so Saturday is a clear choice:  this deal or no deal.

This new deal ensures that we take back control of our laws, trade, borders and money without disruption, and provides the basis of a new relationship with the EU based on free trade and friendly cooperation. This is a deal which allows us to get Brexit done and leave the EU in two weeks’ time, so we can then focus on the people’s priorities and the country can come together and move on. We will leave the EU’s Customs Union as one United Kingdom and be able to strike trade deals all around the world.

The Prime Minister has achieved what many said was impossible and negotiated a new deal so that we can respect the referendum result and get Brexit done on 31 October, without disruption and in a friendly way.

Boris has been Prime Minister for 85 days. When he took over, many people said it would be impossible to get a new deal and get Brussels to retreat. He has pulled it off. With this deal the Prime Minister has: 

  • Persuaded Brussels to re-open the deal – something many said was impossible;
  • Ensured Britain will no longer be bound by EU laws and taxes – something many said was impossible.
  • Ended the supremacy of the European Court in Britain – something many said was impossible.
  • Removed the backstop and ensured that the people of Northern Ireland are in control of the laws they live by – something many said was impossible.

Put simply, this new deal means…

  • Britain is out of all EU laws. We will be able to change our laws in a huge number of areas – from product standards to fishing rules to farming subsidies – where we are currently bound by EU rules.
  • We will be able to strike our own free trade deals. We will have an unqualified right to strike our own trade deals around the world, and the whole UK will participate in them.
  • European Court supremacy ends in Britain. It will be our courts, applying our laws, which will be the highest authority in the land.
  • We will be in control of our taxes. We will be able to change VAT rules and other tax laws that are currently determined by Brussels.
  • Northern Ireland will be in the UK customs territory forever. There is now no doubt that Northern Ireland remains part of the UK’s customs territory and will benefit from the free trade deals we strike.
  • The backstop has been abolished. The people of Northern Ireland will be in charge of the laws that they live by, and – unlike the backstop – will have the right to end the special arrangement if they so choose.

This is why I shall be voting for the deal on Saturday.  We can then enter into the transition period which will last until December 2020 when we will determine our future long term relationship with the EU; and in the meantime also focus on delivering on the ambitious domestic agenda outlined in the Queen’s Speech this week.