Committee for Exiting the EU Hears Evidence On The Progress Of UK’s Negotiations

The Committee for Exiting the EU heard evidence from Allie Renison, Head of Europe and Trade Policy, Institute of Directors; Henry Newman, Director, Open Europe; and Michael Dougan, Professor of European Law and Jean Monnet Chair in EU Law, University of Liverpool. I asked about the withdrawal agreement and being ready for Brexit. Doing a deal is not just about words on a piece of paper. It's about having the institutions in place. It's a pipe dream to think we can create and build new institutions by December 2020. An EEA based Brexit is the only viable option. Continue reading

Chequers Proposal Is A Bureaucratic Nightmare That’s Riddled With Complexity And Ambiguity

The Chequers proposal is a bureaucratic nightmare that’s riddled with complexity and ambiguity. Surely the Prime Minister must now stop trying to re-invent the wheel, and commit instead to an EEA-based Brexit? My question to her in the House: Continue reading

This Is Not Project Fear, This Is Happening Right Here, Right Now

"This is not Project Fear, this is happening right here, right now." My question to the Prime Minister, highlighting massive drop in investment in automotive, plummeting FDI, and urging her to commit to an EEA-based Brexit Continue reading

Leaving the EU: Parliamentary Scrutiny

There is a real risk that MPs are forced to vote on a 'motherhood and apple pie' Brexit bill this October, with loose wording that means very little, and so forces us to gamble on our government's competence. Would require a huge leap of faith! Continue reading

Committee For Exiting The European Union Hears From Guy Verhofstadt

Guy Verhofstadt, chief Brexit representative for the European parliament, appeared before the Committee for Exiting the European Union. I asked him about the Irish border, and EEA and EFTA. Continue reading

EEA Based Brexit Is The Only Viable Option

In my speech in the Chamber yesterday, I set out why an EEA-based Brexit is the only viable option: it balances sovereignty and prosperity, reforms free movement, and is ready-made model that would re-unite our deeply divided country. I've been banging this drum for 18 months and I'll keep going! Continue reading

Why I Am Defying My Party Whip And Voting For The Lords Brexit Amendment

This week the House of Commons will be asked to determine the type of Brexit our country seeks. Will MPs back a sensible lords amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill that instructs Theresa May to negotiate a deal keeping Britain inside the European Economic Area, or will we risk a bad deal such as a Canada-style Free Trade Agreement which would do nothing for our services industries and lead inevitably to a hard border in Ireland? Or, worse still, will we allow the government’s profound incompetence to take us over the cliff edge into a "no deal" scenario, where tariffs and non-tariff barriers destroy the jobs and livelihoods of the very people we were elected to represent? Continue reading

EEA/EFTA Based Brexit

The EU Withdrawal Bill is expected to return to the Commons on Tuesday 12 June. As you know, the Lords passed a number of important amendments. Those amendments include membership of a customs union and UK membership of the European Economic Area (EEA). Click here for a briefing with useful information about the EEA and EFTA. Continue reading

Committee For Exiting The European Union Hears About Citizens' Rights

The Committee heard evidence from Fiona Godfrey, Chair, British Immigrants living in Luxembourg (BRILL), and Deputy Chair of British in Europe; Jane Golding, Co-Chair, British in Germany, and Chair of British in Europe; Michael Harris, Chair, EuroCitizens, Spain; and Kalba Meadows, Founder, Remain in France Together (RIFT), France. I asked about the free movement of people across the European Union for UK citizens living on the continent.  Continue reading

Government Ministers Appear Before Committee For Exiting The EU

Ministers from the Department for Exiting The European Union appeared before the Committee to answer questions about the progress of UK-EU negotiations, including the Government’s customs union proposals on customs arrangements. 2019 will be a year of huge political and institutional 'churn' in Brussels, with European Parliament elections in May and a new Commission taking office in autumn. Substantial talks on the future (post-transition) relationship will therefore only start in earnest in autumn 2019. I asked how the government is planning to respond to the dramatically squeezed time frame and severely reduced leverage that this will cause? Continue reading