Evennett raises concerns about backstop in Parliament

Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, spoke in the debate yesterday (6 December) in the House of Commons on the proposed Withdrawal Agreement with the EU.

Sir David expressed his frustrations at the “doom and gloom” of others on the topic of Brexit, and highlighted the fantastic opportunities that Brexit presents to the UK and how it must be embraced in order to be successful.

However, whilst he welcomed some of contents in the Political Declaration, particularly that we should be working towards “no tariffs, fees, charges or quantitative restrictions across all sectors”, he did raise serious concerns about the proposed backstop in the Withdrawal Agreement. Sir David commented:

“It is a real problem. We want a deal that gets us out and we want to have good relations with Europe, because Europe is home to our neighbours and trading partners. We want to do business with them, but we do not want to be their prisoner before we can make the trade deals that we need with the countries of the world. Let me use the example that I used in a meeting with the Prime Minister. If I am buying a house, I want a completion date. I do not want to give over the money—in this case, the £39 billion—without an end date. We want a completion date, so I am really concerned about the backstop.”

“I am concerned that Northern Ireland would be treated differently from the rest of the country. It is not acceptable to separate one country that is part of our United Kingdom. Negotiation requires compromise, but for me the backstop is a step too far and leaves uncertainty as the central feature of our negotiations and the conclusion of our exit from the EU.”

“Let me conclude with this thought. Will the withdrawal agreement allow Britain to take control of its laws, its money and its borders? If not, there is something wrong with it. If it does, we should support it. However, if the backstop is not looked at and dealt with, and if there is no end date, the deal is flawed.”