PM should be applauded for deal many thought impossible, says Ipswich MP

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt. Picture: PARLIAMENT LIVE TV

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt. Picture: PARLIAMENT LIVE TV - Credit: Archant

Ipswich's MP Tom Hunt has said Prime Minister Boris Johnson deserves credit for achieving a Brexit deal many thought impossible. 

Mr Hunt, who voted to leave the EU and was a regional organiser for the Vote Leave campaign, released a full statement on Thursday evening following news news of a Brexit deal.

The deal was struck by negotiators a week before current trading arrangements expire.

Mr Hunt's statement read: "My initial sense is that this deal delivers the vast majority of what I wanted as someone who voted and campaigned to leave the EU.

"It ends freedom of movement allowing us to control immigration from across Europe. It enables us to strike free trade deals across the world. EU law ceases to apply. The jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice ends. There will be no alignment with EU rules and our elected Parliament will set all of the laws for our country once again. And finally, we will clearly end sending millions every week to the EU as the cost of EU membership.

"This has been a very challenging and difficult negotiation and I'm pretty confident that there is not one individual in the country who will be 100% happy with every aspect of this deal. However, I do feel that it does a good job at balancing the need to deliver Brexit in the truest sense, and that we start 2021 as a fully sovereign country whilst avoiding the disruption that would have been associated with a no deal departure.

"Yes, I believe that no deal would have been better than a bad deal and yes I believe it was absolutely right to have it on the table throughout the negotiation but the reality is that at a time when the Government is doing everything it can to tackle COVID-19 and get the vaccine out no deal would have presented a real challenge on top of this in the short term. This is a challenge we could have met as a country but if it all possible, my belief is that it was best to avoid it and I'm glad we have.

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"The trade deal negotiated will mean that going into 2021 we enjoy zero tariff and zero quota trade with our European neighbours whilst at the same time becoming a fully sovereign country. After an ultimately depressing 2020, I do very much see this as something to look forward to going into 2021.

"I do believe that Boris Johnson deserves a lot of credit for all of this. It wasn't long ago that the last failing Parliament and was falling flat on its face time and time again trying to resolve Brexit and completely failing to deliver the will of the British people to leave the EU. Ultimately it was Boris Johnson who broke that deadlock through his election win and who has now through his own negotiating skills and those of his chief negotiator David Frost come back from Brussels with a deal far superior to the one that his predecessor was able to secure.

"I believe strongly that part of the reason for this was the Prime Minister's determination to prepare for no deal and to absolutely have it there on the table, the EU in my view truly believed that the Prime Minister was prepared to walk away because he was. His predecessor never was and the EU knew this.

Mr Hunt went on to add: "The Prime Minister and his team have achieved a deal that many thought impossible. I for one believe he should be applauded for this.

"Now is the time to unite as a country, move beyond the Brexit divisions of the past and make a success of becoming a fully sovereign country once again."