01 APR 2019

Brexit Update - Statement from Therese

Last week, there were a series of votes on alternative ways forward. I decided not to support any of them as I believe the deal already negotiated is the best way forward in delivering the outcome of the referendum and also acknowledges the closeness of that result, while putting the decision on whether to adopt future EU regulation changes in the hands of the UK Parliament (or in some circumstances the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly or Northern Ireland administration),

We will be asked again today to vote on some motions, most of which will be the same as last week. The main reason why I decided to vote remain 3 years ago was because I did not want to end up in a Norway style situation where we will adopt all the rules without a say. It would also require accepting full freedom of movement. That is why I won't support the so called Common Market 2.0 option.

Regarding the Customs Union, this hands over to the EU how we choose to do trade deals with other countries. There are always trade offs during these negotiations. More often than not, for the EU, agriculture and food get the priority over services. The UK economic output (Gross Value Added) is about 80% services.
Furthermore, not only do we have to adopt EU regulations - again without a say on what they are in the future - but it penalises us actually doing fairer trade with poorer countries around the world and we can see that with many fruits and everyday items we take for granted like coffee.

It is a very frustrating situation in Parliament at the moment. Yes, I do think Labour are trying to have it both ways by pretending they respect the referendum as they said they would in their manifesto but it is clear that Jeremy Corbyn wants to destabilise the situation to get another general election. In my own party, there are a small number of people either wanting to stay in the EU or think the deal is too much of a compromise for them.

As for a second referendum, the people supporting it are exclusively those who wanted to remain. I reiterate that ignoring the 2016 referendum would be wrong and would be the greatest insult to democracy that this country has experienced. I have always respected the outcome of the referendum and will continue to do so.

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E-mail: therese.coffey.mp@parliament.uk

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