Member of Parliament for Gravesham
HOUSE OF COMMONS
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.
I remain convinced that the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration:
- represent an unconscionable loss of sovereignty (entering the backstop would be the first time in Parliament’s history that it could not undo something its predecessor had for me, that is not taking back control).
- have the potential to damage the Union (the Irish Backstop would impose regulatory differences between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK and the Government’s own legal advice makes is clear that we would be unable to exit the backstop if the future negotiations fail).
- fetter our ability to trade freely in the future (the Withdrawal Agreement says the future relationship will “build on the single customs territory” outlined in the backstop – this means the UK and EU must apply the same tariffs to imports from other countries).
- could lock the UK in EU defence and security structures for the first time (the Political Declaration speaks of a “broad, comprehensive and balanced security partnership ….which respects the sovereignty of the UK and the autonomy of the Union” However, it is clear to me that these are mutually exclusive aspirations: the UK cannot pick and choose its involvement in EU defence initiatives – if we were to involve ourselves in this way we will be subject to strict participation criteria . Also, “structural cooperation” in intelligence could well spell the end of the “Five Eyes” intelligence relationship with America, Australia, Canada and New Zealand).
For these reasons and many more I will vote against the Withdrawal Agreement again if and when it is put to a 4th vote. Assuming the deal remains broadly as it is currently constituted, this is not Brexit, but Remain, without vote, veto, voice or exit. The deal downgrades the UK from being an (albeit very restrained) rule maker to a subservient rule taker.
I most certainly do not agree with the likes o the Daily Mail that suggest that those of us standing against the Withdrawal Agreement are standing in the way of Brexit: Theresa May and the Civil Service have produced a Brexit in name only, with the serious problems I list above and at a cost of £39bn to the British taxpayer. I think my maths is correct, and this comes to £1950 per household reading this letter and every single household in the country in taxes we pay and borrowing the government makes on behalf of unborn generations .
Had the majority of people in Gravesham voted to Remain, I would be equally outraged if say- a committed Leaver had been PM, who did not believe in Remain, had negotiated a “deal” that actually took us out of EU structures.
Now, staggeringly, an out of touch Parliament has removed the one bit of leverage we had – the threat of No Deal (which I never feared). On top of that, the PM is now trying to get her Deal (or some further diluted version of it) over the line with the help of the Marxist leadership of the Labour Party.
There is even talk of us remaining (note the word) in the Customs Union. This nothing short of an insult to the 17.4m people who voted to leave.
If you have not already done so, please have a look at:
amongst other material, to be reminded of what David Cameron declared a Leave vote would mean.
People in Gravesham voted to Leave and rightfully trusted that the will of the people would be respected. I will not rebel against their wishes.
Member of Parliament for Gravesham
Telephone: 020 7219 8402 Email: hollowaya @parliament.uk
THE DEFENCE AND INTELLIGENCE THREATS TO NATIONAL SECURITY AT THE HEART OF THE PRIME MINISTER’S WITHDRAWAL AGREEMENT: A BRIEFING NOTE, 11 MARCH 2019
Sir Richard Dearlove (former Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service)
Professor Gwythian Prins (former member CDS Strategy Advisory Panel)
As we approach our exit from the EU on 29th of this month, and in face of increasing efforts by Project Fear to dragoon MPs into voting for Mrs May’s bad Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration tomorrow, we summarise here main warnings from our collaborative research on the defence and intelligence threats to national security that are embedded at the heart of Mrs May’s strategy.
- Above all, the Government’s strategy will cede power to the EU in these sovereign areas and will thereby compromise our premier intelligence alliance with the ‘Five Eyes’ of the Anglos phere (Australia, Canada, New Zealand the USA and ourselves) if we touch any part of the EU’s planned autonomous structures for intelligence gathering and
- Having successfully prevented the EU from developing a defence role for over forty years, bizarrely, the Government’s Withdrawal Agreement and associated documents threaten to place Europe’s premier defence and intelligence power under EU This is the reverse of what the people voted for in June 2016.
- The WA and PD tell us that the Government seeks UK participation “to the extent possible under EU law” in the European Defence Fund, the European Defence Agency and in activities under Permanent Structured Co-operation and a full continuation of UK participation in the EU Common Security & Defence Policy (a component of the Common Foreign & Security Policy in the EU acquis) “with no “
- This is a formulation based on a misunderstanding- whether wilful or actual- about how the EU The fact is that there can be no a Ia carte engagement because this is a spider’s web in which everything is connected to everything else. So if the UK touches any one part, it becomes trapped in the whole.
- The Technical Note on External Security of 24 May 2018 promises an early Defence Treaty after 29 March 2019. The proposed content of this defence treaty is unsafe. With Field Marshal the Lord Guthrie we have therefore published a text written to exclude legally any and all such possibilities. Our draft Defence Treaty was circulated to all MPs and all
- The EU has no business at all in the national security These are sovereign responsibilities. The May Deal, were it to be adopted, would actively impair the autonomy of UK decision-making in this most fundamental of sovereign tasks of government.
- The speed of ministerial consent after May 2018 removed the opportunity for adequate parliamentary scrutiny or votes on seven separate occasions, in breach of the Scrutiny Reserve Resolution The WA and PD lock the UK powerlessly under EU control during 2019- 20 and potentially permanently through the ‘backstop’ trap, as Defence EU rapidly evolves.
- The PD would cede all initiative to the EU and Mr Macron’s recent speech and Verdun interview on Armistice Day make it clear that his vision of the EU is actively hostile to the USA and our closest These are not the appropriate actions of Europe’s premier military and intelligence power.
- These threats to national security alone should sink the Withdrawal Strategy.