Senior Conservative MPs are this evening setting out the alternative written ministerial statement that they believe the Prime Minister should make now that the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration have been rejected by the House of Commons.
A Better Deal and A Better Future includes the following:
- A commitment to leave the European Union on schedule and as legislated on 29 March 2019;
- A proposal to work concurrently on two strands:
- To present the EU with a legal text of a new EU/UK trade agreement as offered by Donald Tusk on 7 March 2018
- To continue with all preparations to leave the EU on WTO terms on 29 March 2019.
- The new Free Trade Plus agreement text should include:
- Replacement of the backstop, with a fully worked out Irish border protocol based on an interim FTA and Customs and Trade Facilitation Agreement.
- A financial settlement linked to progress towards a trade agreement.
- Mutually beneficial cooperation in areas such as the fight against terrorism, research, flights, data exchange etc.
- Leaving the Common Fisheries policy and negotiating reciprocal access.
- WTO preparations to include:
- Spending a part of the £39bn saved to boost economic growth.
- Unilaterally guaranteeing EU citizens’ rights to continue to live and work in the UK.
- Measures to reduce the cost of imported agri-food items.
- Improving domestic regulation to support competitive markets.
- Simultaneous discussions with US, India and China as well as rolling over EU FTAs.
- Seek to work multilaterally within the WTO on UK trading goals.
The signatories to the statement are David Davis MP, Ian Duncan Smith MP, Boris Johnson MP, David Jones MP, Lord Lilley, Esther McVey MP, Priti Patel MP, Owen Paterson MP, Dominic Raab MP, Mark Francois MP, Theresa Villiers MP, John Whittingdale MP, Sir Bernard Jenkin MP, Sir William Cash MP, Steve Baker MP, Suella Braverman MP, Charlie Elphicke MP, Marcus Fysh MP, Craig Mackinlay MP, Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, Michael Tomlinson MP, Anne Marie Trevelyan MP, and Shailesh Vara MP.
Explaining the deal, Steve Baker said:
“The Commons rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration is a great opportunity to aim for a better deal that respects the referendum result and is focused on the UK’s trading priorities. We will offer the EU a better deal and we will be ready to trade on WTO terms with the EU if they decline.
“If we leave on WTO terms, we will no longer be faced with handing over £39bn for little in return, seeing our United Kingdom broken apart or being forced to follow EU laws with no say. This document sets out a firm plan to take up the EU’s March offer of a best-in-class trade agreement respecting UK priorities, the EU’s legal order and allowing the UK to develop a truly independent trade and domestic regulatory policy.
“We have the opportunity to set our own course in the world. This is the right plan to respect the referendum result and prosper".