Brexit is a very fast- moving policy area, and as such anything written on Monday may well be totally out of date by Wednesday. Here's my overarching views on Brexit, and what I'd like to see from the process.
The “Chequers deal” is 95% of the way there! However, certain parts, such as the suggestion of a Common Rulebook, which could see us take guidance from the European Court of Justice, and the facilitated customs model which hinders our ability to strike new trade deals, are also very unlikely to be acceptable to the EU.
I hope that the Government will not persist in trying to sell the unsaleable with those bits of the White Paper that the European Union will not accept. The Prime Minister has played a canny hand so far, and I sincerely hope that she and the Government will now pivot away from the unsaleable elements of the White Paper, especially in relation to the common rulebook and the facilitated customs model, and refocus our future commercial relationship around what is possible, namely this unprecedented bespoke free trade agreement between the EU27 and the United Kingdom.
I cannot conclude without saying something more about Scotland, but before I do, let me say that I associate myself with many of the comments that have been made by Conservative Members about the £39 billion that we have seemingly committed. We should definitely question the value for money behind that kind of exchange of currency.
I fully support our Prime Minister to deliver the best Brexit deal, and make the changes to the current propositions to best suit the United Kingdom.
We should not be calling for a new Prime Minister. What we need now are calm heads and cool nerves, and a united front to present to the EU in negotiations.
The prospect of failing to reach a deal is, I feel, remote. However, it is right that we adequately prepare for a "No deal" scenario, where we revert to WTO terms of trade.
I am very clear that No Deal is a better option than a Bad Deal.
Relations with Europe
While we are leaving the EU, we are not leaving Europe. I want to stay close to our friends in Europe in several key areas such as education, security, and medicine standards. Co-operating with Europe on these policy areas and more will greatly benefit both the UK and EU.