'Seems like Brexit delivered to me' - Ipswich MP on EU trade deal
- Credit: Pippa Fowles
I was very pleased to find out on Christmas Eve that the prime minister had secured a free trade deal with the EU.
This means that going into the New Year, we can trade with our European friends with zero tariffs and zero quotas.
The UK’s chief negotiator, David Frost, described this deal as the biggest and the broadest trade deal in the world.
I will be studying the small print of the deal over the coming days, as my constituents will expect me to do - but I must say that the early indications are positive.
This was an incredibly difficult and complex negotiation and I don’t think there will be a single person in this country or in Europe who will be 100% happy with everything to do with the trade deal.
But, on the whole, it certainly seems to strike the right balance between delivering a proper Brexit so that the UK can enter the New Year as a fully sovereign country, whilst also not taking a wrecking ball to intricate trading relationships with our European neighbours at a time when there is already a huge amount of economic disruption and dislocation as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
As many of you will know, I have been a committed Brexiteer. I voted to leave the EU and I was even a campaigner for Vote Leave.
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What this deal does do is ends freedom of movement, allowing us to control our own borders.
It allows our international trade secretary Liz Truss to continue her brilliant world striking trade deals around the world.
It leaves no role for the European Court of Justice regarding our own affairs. EU law will cease to apply to our country. There will be no alignment to EU rules and our elected parliament will set all laws for our country once again.
This certainly seems like Brexit delivered to me. In fact, I believe that even Nigel Farage has said that its time to move on from Brexit debates.
I think it was right for no deal to be on the table and that it would have been better than a bad deal. Ultimately, I’m pleased it didn’t come to this as in the short term it would have brought significant challenges.
We could have overcome them but best to avoid if we could and now we will.
I feel strongly that it was through having no deal on the table and preparing for it properly and demonstrating this to the EU side that we got them to budge on a number of key issues. Something that the previous prime minister failed to do.
I do believe that Boris Johnson deserves a significant amount of credit for all this.
Not long ago we had a broken parliament that seemed to have no desire to move on from endless Brexit debates or to deliver the will of the British people.
Thankfully, through his election win and effective negotiating skills, the prime minister has delivered Brexit in a meaningful sense by delivering what seems to me to be a high quality trade deal against the odds.
None of this is thanks to the Labour Party, who since the referendum took place have worked to stymie the referendum result and frustrate negotiations.
It’s my strong belief that rarely - if ever - since the referendum took place have the Labour Party, or either of its leaders, sought to act in the national interest when it comes to Brexit. I do believe this is something a significant proportion of the British public will ever forgot.
I very much look forward to the UK going into 2021 as a fully sovereign country but also with a comprehensive trade deal with our European neighbours.
Entering Tier 4 is a blow for all of us.
Due to the significant increases in Covid-19 cases across the country and the pressure on our local hospital, I understand why the decision was made.
There has been extremely encouraging developments regarding vaccines and there is very much a bright light at the end of the tunnel - but the reality is that this extremely contagious new strand of the virus holds the potential to take the lives of our loved ones who are most vulnerable to the virus.
I do believe that we should take all steps to protect them. However, what I’m also clear about is that more needs to be done to support our wonderful hospitality and retail sectors, as well as other businesses who are impacted by this the most.
The next month or so will be very hard but we can rest assured that, unlike the first lockdown, we now have got some certainty about when this nightmare will finally end.
I’m confident that, come the spring, we are likely to be in a place as a country to return to something beginning to resemble “normal”.
I hope as many of you as possible were able to see your loved ones on Christmas Day and I wish you all a very happy new year!