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

Devastating 90% Drop In Inward Investment Into The UK Caused By Profound Market Uncertainty That Brexit Has Triggered

During Prime Ministers Questions I questioned Theresa May on her Brexit plan as recent figures, released by the OECD, showed a devastating 90% drop in inward investment to the UK between 2016-2017. This has been caused by profound market uncertainty that Brexit has triggered. It's vital we reverse this market uncertainty and secure industries such as steel, which is why I urged the Prime Minister to keep an open mind on an EEA-based Brexit, as the only way to reverse that uncertainty. Continue reading

Committee For Exiting The European Union Focuses On Science, Research, And Higher Education

The Committee for Exiting the EU heard evidence from Professor Michael Arthur, Chair, Russell Group EU Advisory Group, Professor Richard Brook OBE, President, Association for Innovation, Research and Technology Organisations, Dr Sarah Main, Executive Director, Campaign for Science and Engineering and Dr Beth Thompson MBE, Head of Policy (UK and EU), Wellcome Trust.  I asked them about how Brexit had affected the dynamic of the relationship between UK and EU institutions, and the UK's ability to shape Framework Programme 9, the EU's future research and innovation programmes. Continue reading

It Could Take Two Years For EU To Give UK An ‘Adequacy Decision’ Under GDPR Regulations

In the Committee on Exiting the EU my questioning revealed it could take two years for EU to give UK an ‘Adequacy Decision’ under General Data Protection Regulation. This could hinder free flow of data to and from EU after Brexit. It's vital work is done now to prepare us for this process to avoid disruption. Continue reading

Committee For Exiting The European Union Asks About The Parliamentary Vote On Withdrawal Agreement And EU/UK Future Framework

During the latest session of the Exiting The European Union Committee, I questioned how Parliament could end up voting on contradictory things on withdrawal agreement and the EU/UK future framework. Continue reading

With The EEA Vote, The Lords Can Set Theresa May On The Right Brexit Path

The House of Lords has so far responded in a robust, rational and highly effective manner to the government’s EU withdrawal bill. But the most important test of the peers’ resolve is yet to come. On Tuesday an amendment to the withdrawal bill will be tabled in the Lords that, if passed by the Commons, would commit the government to keeping the United Kingdom in the European Economic Area (EEA). Continue reading