Soubry - MPs must not give in to pressure to support Prime Minister’s deal - People's Vote

Soubry - MPs must not give in to pressure to support Prime Minister’s deal

Anna Soubry MP today makes a plea to fellow Conservatives not to give in to “inevitable pressure” to support the Prime Minister’s Brexit proposal – or indulge in “clever tactics” on such a vital issue by backing it in the hope of securing some other deal.

The leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign and former business minister said she objects to the “not so subtle political blackmail” from Downing Street to support the deal, and says that now is the time to “put our country’s interest first”, especially the “future prospects of younger people” and reject the Withdrawal Agreement in Parliament on Tuesday.

The warning comes in the foreword to a new report from the People’s Vote campaign called ‘Never Mind the Backstop: This is a Bad Deal, Full Stop’, which for the first time presents an authoritative take down of the Prime Minister’s deal on the basis that it does not meet the promises made for Brexit, is worse than the deal the UK has already got inside the EU and will guarantee only that negotiations go on for ever – “Brexternity”-  because all the big questions are left unanswered.

 

Anna Soubry says:

“We know the overwhelming majority of our colleagues will have thought long and hard about how they will vote next week. Some have made up their minds to reject the deal. Others are determined to support the deal - there are some who will vote for the deal on the basis it will fail and they will then secure some “Norway” deal. We believe you cannot engage in clever tactics on such an important matter. We urge colleagues who know the Withdrawal Agreement is bad for our country to vote against it next week.

“We also appreciate there are some who may be tempted to give in to the inevitable pressure to support the Prime Minister’s ‘deal’ especially on the false premise that the alternative is no deal. We object to this not so subtle political blackmail especially as it is not the binary choice the Government has made out. Now is the time to put our country’s interest first and foremost, especially the future prospects of younger people and reject the PM’s Withdrawal Agreement. We can then look at the remaining options.” 

 

The report analyses the effect of the Government’s deal on areas such as trade, the economy, sovereignty, security, Britain’s global influence, the NHS, young people and rights.

 

On the deal, Anna Soubry says:

“It is not the ‘deal’ we were promised and nothing is settled. In particular there is no trade deal - just a Future Framework that is so vague the Treasury cannot provide an economic assessment of it. It certainly doesn’t provide the frictionless trade so critical for our manufacturing sector and the hundreds of thousands of jobs it supports. The framework fails to achieve the central aims of the so called Chequers Agreement. That was modelled by the Treasury and their independent assessors agreed it would reduce our future prosperity by at least 4 per cent. 

“If we leave without knowing and agreeing our eventual trading relationship with the EU, the Brexit rows that have plagued British politics for two and a half years will go on and on.  

“The backstop not only undermines the Union, it also delivers a customs arrangement over which we will have little if any say. We would in fact suffer the biggest loss of sovereignty in our country’s history. No wonder so many Leave voters believe this ‘deal’ is a betrayal of Brexit.  

“It is abundantly clear that whichever way you cut Brexit there is no deal better than the current deal we have with the EU.”

Ends

 

Notes to editors:

  1. The full text of Anna Soubry’s foreword to the report is below:

Next week MPs will take part in the most important votes for decades determining our country’s future for generations to come. It is now two months since the Prime Minister published her EU Withdrawal Agreement and accompanying Future Framework. The former sets out the detail of our departure from the EU and the latter a vague set of proposals about our future relationship with our nearest neighbours. We will vote on whether to accept the Prime Minister’s so called “deal” on Tuesday of next week.

It is clear that a large number of Conservative MPs will not be voting for the proposed Withdrawal Agreement and equally clear that we have reached that conclusion for a variety of reasons. There has been much criticism and concern of the so called “Back Stop” in relation to Northern Ireland. We share many of those concerns but our opposition to the Withdrawal Agreement goes beyond the back stop. 

Firstly, it is not the ‘deal’ we were promised and nothing is settled. In particular there is no trade deal - just a Future Framework that is so vague the Treasury cannot provide an economic assessment of it. It certainly doesn’t provide the frictionless trade so critical for our manufacturing sector and the hundreds of thousands of jobs it supports. The framework fails to achieve the central aims of the so called Chequers Agreement. That was modelled by the Treasury and their independent assessors agreed it would reduce our future prosperity by at least 4 per cent. 

If we leave without knowing and agreeing our eventual trading relationship with the EU the Brexit rows that have plagued British politics for two and a half years will go on and on.  

Secondly, the backstop not only undermines the Union, it also delivers a customs arrangement over which we will have little - if any - say. We would in fact suffer the biggest loss of sovereignty in our country’s history. No wonder so many Leave voters believe this “deal” is a betrayal of Brexit.  

Thirdly, it is abundantly clear that whichever way you cut Brexit there is no deal better than the current deal we have with the EU. 

We know the overwhelming majority of our colleagues will have thought long and hard about how they will vote next week. Some have made up their minds to reject the deal. Others are determined to support the deal - there are some who will vote for the deal on the basis it will fail and they will then secure some “Norway” deal. We believe you cannot engage in clever tactics on such an important matter. We urge colleagues who know the Withdrawal Agreement is bad for our country to vote against it next week.

We also appreciate there are some who may be tempted to give in to the inevitable pressure to support the Prime Minister’s “deal” especially on the false premise that the alternative is no deal. We object to this not so subtle political blackmail especially as it is not the binary choice the Government has made out. Now is the time to put our country’s interest first and foremost, especially the future prospects of younger people and reject the PM’s Withdrawal Agreement. We can then look at the remaining options. 

   2. The report is available to download here: https://bit.ly/2sir81P