PM's speech in the Commons

Following the PM’s speech in the Commons on leaving the EU earlier today I am seeking clarity on several key points. 

The Prime Minister has said that this draft agreement delivers a good Brexit (in the national interest). Over the next few days and weeks we need to see if the draft deal really does deliver this. 

However, the resignations of Dominic Raab and Esther McVey, both sincere and competent MPs, strongly suggest that this deal cannot deliver what people voted for or be in the best interest of the UK.

Only the Attorney General’s legal opinion will clarify the following points:

Control of our laws:

That the UK becomes a Sovereign Independent State with full control over our own laws

United Kingdom: 

That nothing in the agreement undermines the integrity of Britain and Northern Ireland and that nothing agreed commits to any part of the UK being treated differently. 

The PM has said “I want to ensure that as we go forward we have that strong union, that Northern Ireland - it is part of the United Kingdom and it's important that we deliver for the people of Northern Ireland.

“They don't want a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.”

In his resignation letter today, Mr Raab said he could not support the draft agreement because the regulatory regime proposed for Northern Ireland "presents a very real threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom".

And, he added, the "backstop" arrangements aimed at preventing the return of a hard Irish border would result in the EU "holding a veto over our ability to exit".

Backstop

That the UK has the sovereign right to end the backstop. That the EU is not legally able to extend the backstop indefinitely.

The backstop is effectively an insurance policy in UK-EU Brexit negotiations. It’s meant to make sure that the Irish border remains open (as it is today) whatever the outcome of the UK and the EU’s Brexit negotiations. It would mean the UK (or possibly just Northern Ireland) continuing to follow all the rules and regulations of the EU single market and customs union.

Following the PM’s speech in the Commons on leaving the EU earlier today I am seeking clarity on several key points. 

The Prime Minister has said that this draft agreement delivers a good Brexit (in the national interest). Over the next few days and weeks we need to see if the draft deal really does deliver this. 

However, the resignations of Dominic Raab and Esther McVey, both sincere and competent MPs, strongly suggest that this deal cannot deliver what people voted for or be in the best interest of the UK.

Only the Attorney General’s legal opinion will clarify the following points:

Control of our laws:

That the UK becomes a Sovereign Independent State with full control over our own laws

United Kingdom: 

That nothing in the agreement undermines the integrity of Britain and Northern Ireland and that nothing agreed commits to any part of the UK being treated differently. 

The PM has said “I want to ensure that as we go forward we have that strong union, that Northern Ireland - it is part of the United Kingdom and it's important that we deliver for the people of Northern Ireland.

“They don't want a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.”

In his resignation letter today, Mr Raab said he could not support the draft agreement because the regulatory regime proposed for Northern Ireland "presents a very real threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom".

And, he added, the "backstop" arrangements aimed at preventing the return of a hard Irish border would result in the EU "holding a veto over our ability to exit".

Backstop

That the UK has the sovereign right to end the backstop. That the EU is not legally able to extend the backstop indefinitely.

The backstop is effectively an insurance policy in UK-EU Brexit negotiations. It’s meant to make sure that the Irish border remains open (as it is today) whatever the outcome of the UK and the EU’s Brexit negotiations. It would mean the UK (or possibly just Northern Ireland) continuing to follow all the rules and regulations of the EU single market and customs union.

Independent Trade Policy:

That the UK has unfettered ability to strike free trade deals with countries outside of the EU (from March 2019)

Fishing:

That access to UK waters will be completely in the control of the UK by 01/01/2021 (when the transition period concludes)

Currently, UK fishing is governed by the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) which sets out the rules and laws that control and govern commercial fishing across the entire European Union.

We must do everything to avoid continued uncertainty. This should not mean rolling over and allowing the EU to continue to determine the future destiny of the UK. 

If the Attorney General can answer yes to each of the conditions above than I shall be voting for it. It’s very difficult to see that he can, given the detail available to us so far.