Terms of the Withdrawal Agreement

Thank you for your recent correspondence about Brexit. The result of the Referendum was clear but, regrettably, the current deal negotiated by the Prime Minister does not honour the decision of 65% of our neighbours in Gravesham who voted in the Referendum, and a majority of the country, to leave the EU.

The Withdrawal Agreement represents an unconscionable loss of sovereignty, and has the potential to damage to the Union.  I am also concerned that it will fetter our ability to trade freely in the future.   As currently constituted, I will be voting against the Withdrawal Agreement when it is put to a vote in the House of Commons.

Before Christmas I put in a letter to Sir Graham Brady, indicating that I no longer have confidence in the Prime Minister.  I did so with a heavy heart, not least because she is in many ways a remarkable person.  However, I believe that Mrs May is (and has always been) determined to keep us bound to the EU in any way she can and lacks the courage, vision and leadership to seize the opportunities that Brexit offers us as an independent nation.  I regret that my fellow Conservative MPs did not vote against her when the matter was put to a vote on 11th December, but it does not change the fact that you can't have someone leading the mission who does not believe in the mission.

On 29th January I voted for the amendment put forward by Sir Graham Brady requiring the Northern Ireland backstop to be replaced with alternative arrangements to avoid a hard border and indicating support for the Withdrawal Agreement, subject to this change.

I did so because I think it is sensible to give the Prime Minister the chance to go back to Brussels able to say to the EU’s negotiating team what kind of deal might be backed by MPs.  I also judged it vital to keep the Government in charge of the Brexit process rather than letting remain-supporting MPs derail it.

However, I have other concerns about the Withdrawal Agreement, over and above the issues surrounding the backstop, and I made my views on this clear face to face to the Prime Minister on the day of the vote, and the day after to her Political Secretary.  If she is unable to negotiate anything better and if any renegotiated text either fails to deliver Brexit or prejudices the Union, I will have no hesitation in voting against it.  Having carefully considered the implications of "no-deal", I am firmly of the view that in the long term there is nothing to fear from this outcome, and, indeed, much to be gained.

I do not think that there should be a second Referendum as I regard this as fundamentally undermining democracy.  I also think it is irresponsible for MPs to seek to shirk their responsibility to deliver Brexit simply because it is a challenging process.  Having said that, I believe Leave would win a second referendum.

Please have a look at : https://www.facebook.com/holloway.adam to be reminded of what David Cameron declared a leave vote would mean.