Westminster Diary - Customs Bill, Trade Bill and Brexit

As Parliament rises for the summer recess, the Government has brought forward the Chequers Agreement, which sets out a pragmatic and positive plan for the UK’s future relationship with the European Union. Parliament has also taken an important step forward in preparing for the UK’s exit from the EU in March next year. Last week both the Customs Bill and the Trade Bill, which will form a key part of legislating for Britain’s future trading relationships, passed through the House of Commons.

I have always been clear that the decision of the British people must be respected and there should be no attempt to overturn Brexit. However, during the two years following the referendum, I have also listened to the concerns of businesses and employers in the constituency who have made clear to me that we do need to deliver a trade deal which gives us the greatest possible access to the European Market. This will secure jobs and investment within the UK, alongside helping us to make our ambition for a Global Britain a success.

One of the amendments brought forward to the Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Bill was not, in my view, consistent with the vision of Brexit set out by the Prime Minister and the Government in the Chequers Agreement. I am supportive of this programme for Brexit as I believe it will mean that the UK leaves the EU, including leaving the Single Market and the Customs Union, whilst also permitting British businesses to continue to trade with our biggest and closest neighbour. As such, I voted against this amendment to try and ensure that after we leave local manufacturing businesses are able to continue to move goods freely, protecting jobs and livelihoods here in Rugby and across the West Midlands.

The Chequers Agreement supports these plans for a truly Global Britain, outside the European Union. It will deliver on the referendum result by ending the free movement of people between the EU and the UK and providing protections for the UK’s sovereignty. We will also be free from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, able to set our own fishing policy and operate our own independent international trade policy.

During the Parliamentary recess my office in Rugby will remain open and ready to help constituents with any issues that arise. I look forward to taking the opportunity to meet with businesses, residents, charities and other organisations throughout Rugby and Bulkington.