I respect the decision that was taken, believe that parliament has a clear duty to pursue our departure from the EU on the best terms achievable and, accordingly, voted for the triggering of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty that commenced the process.
I have, since voted four times for the deal that will take us out of the EU and allow us to start the process of negotiating our new relationship and trade agreement with Europe while at the same time striking new treaties on new terms with many other countries.
It is vital, in our national economic interests, that we develop new non-EU markets as swiftly as possible (and in that context we shall need the air freight capacity that Manston Airport can offer) and it is clear that in the short term there is likely to be no dramatic reduction in the levels of net migration if we are to continue to service our agricultural, tourism, hospitality, business and healthcare need. It is also important that we secure the rights of UK citizens living and working within the remaining 27 member states of the EU in tandem with any agreement about the status of EU nationals living and working in the UK.
We are, I think, in for some stormy weather ahead but I also believe that the Conservative Party is better placed than any other to steer our country through these uncharted waters and that given a working majority we can have the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated by the Prime Minister and at present frustrated by the Opposition on the statute book by January 31st 2020. I hope and believe that with hard work, determination and good will we can then start to deliver a promising future for our children and our grandchildren.
It is no secret that, in the company of a majority of Members of Parliament, I supported “Remain” in the EU Referendum. I did so because, even as a Eurosceptic who believes that the institution of the EU is bureaucratic, meddlesome and very probably corrupt, I felt that the UK would be more secure and economically better off, “in” than “out”. I therefore opted to remain and to seek radical change from within.
The British people – and my own wife was one of them – voted to leave the European Union. David Cameron`s government had agreed, although the result was not legally binding, to accept the outcome and that was, in my view, an entirely correct decision.