Today’s agreement is a welcome development that means we are able to move on to talks on trade and transition.
But the job is not done. We must ensure that the ‘full alignment of regulations’ does not come to mean keeping membership of the Single Market and the Customs Union by another name. The UK must not become a rule-taker – we will make our rules not the EU. This would not respect the mandate delivered last June to take back control of our laws.
It is also good that both sides have reached agreement on a final figure for the Brexit Bill. But we should make sure that the UK is paying no more than our legal obligation. What already seems clear however is that figures as high as £100bn were simply another part of Project Fear.
British citizens living abroad and EU citizens here have had their rights guaranteed. That is the right thing to do. For a limited period UK courts have the power to ask the European Court for an opinion. The critical point is that this will come to an end after 8 years and it will be our judges who decide, not the EU.
Much of what’s good in this agreement will probably need to be put into UK law and our MPs will have a vote. The MPs and businessmen who oppose Brexit and want to over-turn the result are planning to step up their campaign in 2018.
Together we can make sure that our politicians continue to do the right thing and vote to implement the decision we made last summer.
Thank you for all your support so far. Together we are making a difference and making sure we take back control.
Gisela Stuart, Chair, Change Britain
PS When Barnier was asked this morning by a journalist if the default position was that the UK would remain in the Single Market and Customs Union he said, “No. You havent understood that well… beyond its decision to leave the EU… the British government has confirmed that it wishes also to leave the single market and the customs union which is not obligatory. There are countries who are not E.U. members, who are part because that is their wish, whilst respecting of the rules of the single market. But that’s not the choice taken by the UK. So you have not understood that well.”