The referendum was very clear when 17.4 million people voted for Brexit, the largest vote for anything in British history. The people voted to ensure democratically elected politicians take back control of our laws, our borders and our money. In February, 494 MPs voted to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty which was then delivered by the Prime Minister in March. We will leave the European Union at midnight on 29th March 2019.
Article 50 requires us to repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and to ensure smooth continuity we need to nationalise the Acquis Communautaire; this is the entire corpus of European law which affects every one of us every day.
Parliament returns this week and the Second Reading of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill will be considered. This Bill will repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and will ensure that we leave the EU in good order; this is about ensuring smooth continuity for businesses.
Over the summer the Government published 11 policy papers to present to the EU negotiating team as we prepare to leave. Last week, The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union concluded the third round of EU exit negotiations in Brussels.
Leaving the Single Market and the Customs Union is a prerequisite for expanding our trade around the world, because we are, in the main, a services economy and any services negotiation is a negotiation on domestic regulation, which we must control.
Spiteful protectionism from the European Commission would accomplish nothing but impoverish all sides. It is unprecedented that both sides currently enjoy zero tariffs and mutual conformity of standards. It should therefore be relatively easy to agree a fully-fledged free trade pact. Reciprocal free trade is in all our interests, particularly the EU because they have a huge surplus with us.
The Prime Minister has been on a visit to Japan to discuss our economic and political ties. As we begin to remove ourselves from the political arrangements of the European Union it is vital that we build on our historic links with friends and allies.
There are over 1,000 Japanese companies directly employing 140,000 people in the UK; many Japanese businesses have a physical presence in the UK including Nomura bank, Hitachi and carmakers Honda, Nissan and Toyota.
During the Prime Minister’s visit, Aston Martin announced a £500 million trade and investment deal with Japan. Scotch whisky exports increased 18 per cent to £75.8 million in 2015.
Next month I will be travelling to Washington D.C. to give a speech on Brexit whilst highlighting the Special Relationship between the UK and the US. I will meet American politicians, businesses and policy groups to promote Britain’s vision of amicable, reciprocal free trade between sovereign nations and good friends.