Brexit

12th September 2019

Following on from my previous statements on this issue, I want to set out my latest views on the Brexit process and recent events in Parliament.

I believe now is the time for the Government to deliver on the referendum result in 2016. The British people were given a choice and they voted to leave. We cannot continue in endless limbo with extension after extension that provides no incentive for the EU to change the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement. We must seek flexibility and compromise from the EU on the deal as this is in everyone’s best interest. If there is no change in the deal, we must walk away without an agreement on 31st October.

I have always been clear that I would prefer to leave the EU with a good withdrawal agreement. But if it proves impossible to come to an agreement over a deal that the House will accept then I believe that leaving without a deal would be preferable to not leaving at all. The terms of the existing Withdrawal Agreement in its current form are, however, unacceptable to Parliament. MPs have rejected it on three occasions. As you may know, in the spirit of compromise, I did vote for this deal the third time it was brought before the House. I still believe that compromise is required for us to move forward as a country and deliver on the referendum result.

While I remain hopeful that the Prime Minister will be able to reach an agreement with our European partners that delivers on the referendum result and protects the sovereignty of the United Kingdom, I believe it is right that the Government prepares fully for no deal.

I am glad that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has confirmed that all required funding will be provided to prepare for a no deal scenario. A total of £1.1 billion is being assigned immediately to manage no deal and a further £1 billion will be available if necessary. There will be changes to tax regulations that will also assist in boosting the economy’s resilience and productivity if a deal cannot be reached.

I would like to reassure you that the Government has made clear that EU citizens’ rights will be guaranteed in all circumstances and the UK remains unconditionally steadfast to its responsibilities under the Belfast Agreement.

To those that have asked me about the future security of the NHS, I would like to make clear again that the NHS offers a universal service that is free at the point of use and this will not change whatever the outcome of our negotiations with the EU and our other trading partners.

There has been much conjecture about the prorogation of Parliament to facilitate the UK's exit from the bloc. The prorogation of Parliament is not unprecedented and, as the High Court ruled on 6th September, is lawful. As the Prime Minister has stated, the aim of proroguing Parliament is to enable this Government to set out its’ ambitious legislative agenda in the Queen's Speech while still giving MPs adequate time to debate Brexit.

I am fully confident that the Government has acted in line with the country's constitutional requirements and it will continue to act in a way that respects the country's democratic traditions.

I have supported this Government’s efforts to secure a General Election before 31st October so that the public are given a choice about who will represent this country during negotiations with the EU. Recent votes in Parliament have shown that it is in the best interests of the country for an election to take place and a new Government to be formed with a fresh mandate.

However, opposition parties have taken the unprecedented step of voting against having a general election on two occasions. Having any Government or Prime Minister in office but not in power is bad for our constitution and our country.

I hope you will understand that it is impossible to satisfy everyone on this issue. I am only able to support what I see as the best outcome available for our country and my constituents that honours the referendum.

No more delays. We must move on and deliver on the referendum result. I trust the British public to give a new Government a mandate to proceed.

ANNE MAIN MP

Anne Main MP

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