Next Tuesday, the House of Commons will undertake one of its most significant votes since passing the European Communities Act in 1972.
Five days of debate on the Prime Minister’s UK-EU withdrawal deal will culminate in a vote in the evening of 11th December. Like 588 other Members of Parliament, I stood on a manifesto promise at the General Election last year to deliver Brexit, and I have already asked the House of Commons Speaker to give me time to contribute in this debate.
In June 2016, 58 per cent of voters in Crawley, and a majority throughout the country, chose to leave the bloc; the largest vote 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.
Brexit is an opportunity to extend our global horizons using our unique international links, as well as a chance to rejuvenate our democracy at home. I continue to hold the Government and the Prime Minister to account in Parliament over our EU withdrawal – most recently last week.
The Prime Minister has now received approval for her withdrawal deal from the remaining EU 27 nations. I believe this arrangement is not in our country’s best interests as it potentially prevents us from seeking those worldwide opportunities, and delivering on the majority will in the referendum.
Following publication of the Prime Minister’s deal, and after being in the Commons chamber to hear her statement, it became clear to me that allowing and maintaining the bloc’s jurisdiction over us without any say, limiting our global scope to complete our own trade deals and threatening UK constitutional integrity with particular regard to customs arrangements is ultimately the reverse of taking back control. This includes the potential inability to ever leave a customs union without the permission of the EU.
I work for Crawley residents and the British national interest first before toeing a current policy line my conscience cannot allow. I will therefore be voting against the Prime Minister’s deal in the House of Commons on 11th December.
Henry Smith MP