In the 2016 referendum I supported the UK remaining in the EU but this was not the outcome of the referendum. Since then I not only respect the outcome of that vote but accept it and that Britain’s future now lies outside of the European Union.
For me the main task is to protect our trade and relationship with the EU and at the same time protect the benefits that we have gained in the UK from EU membership for the future. Some sort of customs arrangement which allows this, along with protecting the interests of EU citizens and UK nationals living and working in Europe, is important. It is also vital that existing security arrangements are maintained for the safety of all our citizens.
I voted against the Prime Minister’s deal, the reason being that it was unclear to me what the final relationship with Europe would be. It simply postponed the agreement we needed with the EU to protect our future trading relationship and did not address many of the contentious issues which still need to be decided.
I was also not prepared to give the Government another two years to try and accommodate the internal divisions of the Conservative Party, rather than making decisions that are in the national interest.
With regard to holding a second referendum this is not a proposition that I support. Parliament now needs to agree a way forward which accepts the result of the referendum but minimises the economic impact on the UK’s economy following withdrawal from the EU.
Over the coming weeks the position of the negotiations will change and I will endeavour to update this statement in light of developments.
If you would like to discuss this issue with me personally I am always happy to meet with constituents and please visit the surgery section of my website for my advice surgery dates and times.
Rt Hon. Kevan Jones
Member of Parliament for North Durham