Exiting the EU

The United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union is an issue about what is in our country’s national interest. Like 588 other Members of Parliament, I stood on a manifesto promise at the 2017 General Election to deliver the people’s choice for Brexit.

In June 2016, 58 per cent of voters in Crawley, and a majority throughout the country, chose to leave the bloc. This vote to leave was the largest ever in British electoral history. In February 2017, the House of Commons supported the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act by 494 votes to 122. In 2019, the deal agreed by the EU with the then-Prime Minister, Theresa May, was rejected by Parliament on three separate occasions.

In July 2019 I was in the House of Commons to hear Prime Minister Boris Johnson update Parliament on his first day in office about his priorities for the Government. I welcome the Prime Minister reiterating his existing position that he much prefers the UK leaving the EU with a deal, and he will work “flat out” to ensure this happens.

I hope we will leave the EU with a deal that is good for the future of the UK as well as our EU partners. However, in the event that EU obstructionism means that the Government and Parliament cannot support the proposals, preparations for a ‘no deal’ exit then become essential.

As a House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee member for five years from 2010, I saw at first hand the lack of accountability there was with regard to decisions made in Brussels – this was one of the many reasons I campaigned for a leave vote locally.

Leaving the EU is an opportunity to extend our global horizons using our unique international links, as well as a chance to rejuvenate our democracy at home.


Reviewing 2018

Henry Smith MP column, Crawley Observer, 26th December 2018.