Derek backs Andrea Leadsom in the leadership race

Why I’m backing Andrea Leadsom to become the next Prime Minister

I am supporting Andrea Leadsom to become the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. I believe that she has the most coherent strategy for delivering the Brexit people voted for in the best possible time frame, and she has outlined to me personally her commitment to dramatically improve the UK’s role in tackling climate change if she becomes Prime Minister.

Whilst it is clear that the next Prime Minister will be charged with delivering Brexit, I believe that as important as securing a good deal for Britain, is tackling climate change. I have been mindful to hear what those running for PM have to say on this issue, which is why I recently wrote a letter to all Conservative leadership candidates to find out what they planned to do to commit to the fight against climate change and man-made emissions.

I received a number of replies, which can be viewed on the ‘Our Planet Matters’ section of my website, however I felt that Andrea Leadsom most demonstrated her commitment to the green agenda by saying ‘one of [her] first acts as Prime Minister will be to declare a climate emergency and put in place a new cabinet group to drive our ambition to phase out greenhouse gas emissions in the shortest time possible’. I was impressed by the content of her letter and as well as her clear resolve to get on board with fighting against climate change.

I also believe that her plan to deliver a realistic and coherent Brexit, is more robust and well set out than other candidates’, it also makes clear her commitment to transparency and consultation both with MPs, the EU and importantly the general public.  In her ‘Three step plan for Brexit’, Andrea Leadsom states that:

  • First, she will solidify in law the rights of EU nationals living in the UK and UK nationals living in the EU as well as introducing an ’EU Departure Provisions Bill’ that will include sensible measures that have already been negotiated and agreed by both sides.
  • Second, she outlines how she will ramp up preparations for leaving the EU at the end of October, including backstop arrangements and securing certainty for those reliant on EU supply chains.
  • Third, she will seek to support and work together with EU Heads of Government, including holding a summit in early September to recognise that the UK will leave in October and to agree exit measures.

I hope that as the leadership race unfolds that my colleagues in Parliament will see that Andrea Leadsom’s vision for the environment and Brexit stand her apart as the best choice to become the next Prime Minister.

You can read her letter and three step plan below:


Click to view a copy of Andrea Leadsom's response to my letter. 


Three step plan for Brexit.

By Andrea Leadsom

The European Union has made clear the Withdrawal Agreement will not be reopened and therefore the Withdrawal Agreement Bill is dead.

There will be no extension of Article 50, no revocation of Article 50, and no second referendum.

The UK will leave the EU on 31 October 2019, and as Prime Minister I will deliver a Managed Exit. There are three steps I will take to achieve this:

  1. I will immediately introduce a Citizens Rights Bill. This will give peace of mind to UK citizens living in the EU and EU citizens living in the UK, lifting the weight of uncertainty from their shoulders.

    I will also introduce an EU Departure Provisions Bill that will include sensible measures that have already been negotiated and agreed by both sides – in areas such as sovereign bases, Gibraltar, security measures, air transport and medicines.

  2. I will significantly ramp up preparations for leaving the EU at the end of October. I will speed up work on alternative arrangements for the Northern Ireland border and look at specific arrangements for ‘just in time’ supply chains and agrifoods. This will give business the certainty and confidence it is crying out for.

    Vitally, progress on our preparations will be completely transparent with regular updates to Parliament and business. Communication will be sent to all households and businesses setting out steps they will need to take in all eventualities, providing greater clarity and an open debate.

  3. I will personally lead a delegation of Ministers to speak directly with key EU Heads of Government about the wide range of measures the UK is offering our EU friends to support our managed departure on 31 October. It will be for the EU27 to decide which of those measures they also want to accept, bearing in mind many of them have already been previously agreed between us.

    The UK will convene a summit in early September in Belfast and Dublin to bring together the EU Council and the proposed new EU Commissioners to recognise that the UK is leaving the EU on 31 October, and to agree the sensible measures we will put in place to ensure a smooth exit.

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