Britain voted to the leave the EU; so did Sevenoaks. That’s why in Parliament I’ve spoken and voted against simply re-running the referendum. The government is committed to respecting the result and securing an orderly withdrawal: the Leave campaign itself argued that leaving must be “a careful change, not a sudden stop”. We need to avoid risking damage to our economy and potential disruption here in Kent.
All sides have recognised the flaws in the original Withdrawal Agreement. It treats Northern Ireland differently; it doesn’t allow us to exit the trade negotiations if talks fail next year; and it doesn’t spell out clearly how we can still trade smoothly in goods and services once we have left. I therefore want to see a better, fairer Agreement, and if it is improved I will support it.
I appreciate that the Parliamentary processes have been frustratingly slow. But we have been in the EU for forty-six years: undoing existing co-operation in trade, security, technology and research was always going to be complicated. For the sake of our futures we must get it right.