Theresa may has listed 40 reasons why MPs and the public should back her Brexit deal. The Withdrawal Agreement has been ratified by the EU but still faces the much stiffer test of passing through the House of Commons. At the moment, it looks as though at least 90 Conservative MPs will vote against it. Labour, the SNP and the DUP are also firmly opposed so Mrs May clearly has a lot of work to do between now and the House of Commons vote in December if she’s to have any chance of making her deal a reality.
This is the full list of reasons:
• Free movement will come to an end, once and for all, with the introduction of a new skills-based immigration system.
• We will take back full control of our money which we will be able to spend on our priorities such as the NHS. We will leave EU regional funding programmes – with the UK deciding how we spend this money in the future.
• The jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the UK will end.
• In the future we will make our own laws in our own Parliaments and Assemblies in Westminster, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.
• We will leave the Common Agricultural Policy.
• We will leave the Common Fisheries Policy and become an independent coastal state again, with control over our waters.
• We will be able to strike trade deals with other countries around the world. Deals can be negotiated and ratified during the implementation period and put in place straight afterwards.
• We will be an independent voice for free trade on the global stage, speaking for ourselves at the World Trade Organisation, for the first time in decades.
• We will be freed from the EU’s political commitment to ever closer union.
• We will be out of the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, recognising the UK’s long track record in protecting human rights.
• A fair settlement of our financial obligations, which will be less than half what was originally predicted.
• Both the one million UK citizens living in the EU and the three million EU citizens living in the UK will have their rights legally guaranteed so they can carry on living their lives as before.
• We will have a free trade area with the EU, with no tariffs, fees, charges or quantitative restrictions across all sectors, helping to protect UK jobs. We will be the only major economy with such a relationship with the EU.
• We’ve agreed with the EU that we will be as ambitious as possible in easing the movement of goods between the UK and the EU as part of our free trade area.
• We will have an implementation period after we leave the EU during which trade will continue much as it does now. This will allow government, businesses and citizens time to prepare for our new relationship.
• The deal will see a greater reduction in barriers to trade in services than in any previous trade deal.
• There will be an agreement that means UK citizens can practice their profession in the EU.
• A comprehensive deal that secures access to the EU market for our financial services sector meaning the EU cannot withdraw it on a whim. This will provide stability and certainty for the industry.
• A best in class agreement on digital, helping to facilitate e-commerce and reduce unjustified barriers to trade by electronic means.
• We have agreed that there will be arrangements that will let data continue to flow freely, vital across our economy and for our shared security.
• Trade arrangements for gas and electricity will help to ease pressure on prices and keep supply secure.
• Strong rules will be in place to keep trade fair, so neither the UK nor EU can unfairly subsidise their industries against the other.
• We will have a comprehensive Air Transport Agreement and comparable access for freight operators, buses and coaches.
• We have agreed that there will be arrangements so we can take part in EU programmes like Horizon and Erasmus.
• There will be a co-operation agreement with Euratom, covering all the key areas where we want to collaborate.
• Visa-free travel to the EU for holidays and business trips will continue.
• Our new security partnership will mean sharing of data like DNA, passenger records and fingerprints to fight crime and terrorism, going beyond any previous agreement the EU has made with a third country.
• Our new security partnership will enable the efficient and swift surrender of suspected and wanted criminals.
• Close co-operation for our police forces and other law enforcement bodies.
• We will continue to work together on sanctions against those who violate international rules.
• We will work together on cyber-security threats and support international efforts to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
• Disputes between the UK and the EU on the agreement will be settled by an independent arbitrator, ensuring a fair outcome.
• We will meet our commitment to ensure that there is no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.
• We will keep the Common Travel Area between the United Kingdom and Ireland, ensuring everyday life continues as now.
• We will keep the Single Electricity Market between Northern Ireland and Ireland, which will help maintain a stable energy supply and keep prices down in Northern Ireland.
• Both sides will be legally committed, by the Withdrawal Agreement, to use “best endeavours” to get the future relationship in place by the end of the implementation period, helping to ensure the backstop is never used.
• An agreement to consider alternative arrangements to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, including all facilitative arrangements and technologies, and to begin preparatory work on this before we leave the EU, reflecting shared determination to replace the backstop.
• In the unlikely event we do have to use the backstop, a UK-wide customs area will ensure there is no customs border in the Irish Sea.
• Gibraltar’s British sovereignty will be protected.
• The deal delivers on the referendum result. It takes back control of our money, borders and laws whilst protecting jobs, security and the integrity of the United Kingdom.
Mrs May is now embarking on what seems like a personal crusade to get backing for the deal, appealing above the heads of MPs directly to voters. And she warned MPs that they risked losing their seats at the next election if they tried to thwart Brexit.
She said: “I believe, when it comes to it, MPs will be thinking about the need to deliver on the vote of the British people and will be thinking about the impact of this deal on their constituents. I think their constituents want to ensure that their jobs and livelihoods are protected and that’s what this deal does.”
Parliament is set to vote on the deal in the first week of December. Despite Mrs May’s warnings, opposition to the deal remains fierce with MPs variously describing it as a threat to sovereignty because it goes too far in aligning Britain with the EU, or a threat to jobs and prosperity because it doesn’t go far enough.