Press and Journal 1 April 2019

I think it’s fair to say that the public are utterly fed-up of politicians talking about Brexit – yet, I’m afraid that is exactly what I am about to do!

 

Whether they voted leave or remain, most people expect politicians to focus on moving forward and ‘just get on with Brexit’, rather than engaging in protracted debates that do little to move matters forward.

 

The Withdrawal Agreement has consistently been the only option on the table which realistically delivers on the democratic outcome of the 2016 referendum, in the national interest.

 

I have consistently said that I would support the best Brexit deal that delivers for the key industries in my constituency of Banff and Buchan.

 

I have been a vocal supporter of our fishermen since my election and there are clearly huge opportunities for the sector from leaving the EU and the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

 

The National Farmers Union Scotland have urged MPs to back the Withdrawal Agreement and help develop an improved system over the current ‘one size fits none’, Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

 

All our businesses want an end to uncertainty and they want to know what the trading rules are going to be in the coming weeks, months and years.

 

Opposition parties in the Commons and regrettably, even some members of my own party, continue to prolong this uncertainty. Far too many are still playing political games.

 

Labour don’t actually disagree with anything in the text of the Withdrawal Agreement.  Jeremy Corbyn just wants a general election so that he and his hard-left colleagues can try to take over in Downing Street.

 

The SNP have talked a lot about seeking compromise, but they haven’t followed through on any of that talk with supportive action. It suits Nicola Sturgeon to have a constitutional crisis in the UK because her only ambition is an independent Scotland – nothing else matters. 

 

Labour would give the EU the upper hand in ongoing negotiations by enabling a long extension.  The SNP advocate revoking Article 50 and not leaving at all – perfectly willing to have powers, currently in the process of returning to Scotland, straight back to Brussels!

 

The Nationalists would keep our fishermen shackled to the CFP and our farmers constrained by the CAP.  That would not only be a complete betrayal of the UK-wide 2016 referendum result, but also to Scottish voters in the 2017 general election, 56% of whom supported parties committed to delivering Brexit.

 

Although technically defeated on Friday, there was more support for the Prime Minister’s deal than for any of the so-called, ‘indicative vote’ options, which were defeated earlier in the week.

 

There is more support in Parliament for leaving under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement than; leaving without a deal, staying in the single market or customs union, having a second referendum or confirmatory vote, or revoking Article 50

 

Therefore, I will continue to support the Government and the Prime Minister to leave the EU on 22 May under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement.