David Davis MP writes for The Sun on the danger of not fully delivering the Brexit that people voted for
As published in The Sun:
The Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Agreement has been voted down three times. It’s had more comebacks than Frank Sinatra.
Even now we are told that it is not dead yet. There is speculation there may well be a showdown next week between the PM’s deal and an insistence that the UK remains in the customs union.
I’ve made my position clear. The PM’s deal was a bad deal. It left the UK under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.
It threatened the integrity of the United Kingdom through the Northern Ireland backstop. And it effectively meant the UK handed over £39billion of taxpayers’ money with nothing in return.
Despite this I voted for it twice but with great reluctance as the alternative is so much worse.
If unreconciled Remainers in Parliament are allowed to hijack negotiations, we will get Brexit in name only, or no Brexit at all.
It’s a terrible state of affairs and I wish the Government had had the courage to maintain the possibility of a No Deal exit.
It would have given leverage to our negotiating position and delivered a better deal.
Frankly what we face now is a crisis of democracy. Record numbers of Britons voted in their droves to leave the EU.
Subsequently both the main parties and others, too, promised at the 2017 General Election that we would leave on time and exit the single market and customs union.
Now that is threatened. Those who wish to thwart Brexit have captured Parliamentand will exert a terrible price by forcing the UK to remain in the customs union in complete contradiction of their election manifestos.
This is the worst possible Brexit policy choice for the UK. Being in an EU customs union means surrendering an independent trade policy. It could mean surrendering some aspects of the control of our NHS and other public services to the EU, whilst having no voice.
The only other country that is outside of the EU but a member of its customs union is Turkey.
Turkey has no seat at the table when the common external tariff is set, nor when EU trade agreements are negotiated.
So, in the customs union the great prize of Brexit — the ability to make dynamic trade deals with the rest of the world — is lost. The next step would be to reduce us to being a rule-taker, not a rule-maker.
We would serve the whims of Brussels in a servile relationship. This is not the Brexit the British people voted for.
We simply have to stop this defeatism. We need to regain our self-confidence, start afresh and actively pursue the best options for the UK.
The EU has always made clear it is prepared to negotiate a Canada-style agreement in the next phase. That is something worth striving for.
We could then look to make similar deals with the US, China, India, Singapore and others.
I respect the PM. By stating that she will step down and let somebody else pursue the next stage of negotiations she has put country ahead of self.
Now we have the opportunity to move on and reset our position.
First, we must face down those who will not accept the result of the referendum, the naysayers and the nihilists.
We will not let them steal Brexit and sabotage democracy. Then we must return to the EU and state clearly and boldly that one way or another we will leave.
So, the choice is theirs. We are prepared to leave without a deal if need be. There is still time to agree a better deal if we use our leverage in this way. Still time to honour the vote of the British people, to restore trust to politics and Parliament.
History will look unkindly on those who sought to usurp the will of the people.
It will be much kinder to those who, even now at this 11th hour, do the right thing by our country and our people.