Theresa May pitches Brexit deal to UK parliament
Prime Minister Theresa May pleaded with the UK parliament to examine the Brexit deal in detail and put the nation's interests first ahead of the crucial vote on December 11
Footage from Reuters.
And with permission, I would like to make a statement on the conclusion of our negotiations to leave the European Union. At yesterday's special European Council in Brussels I reached a deal with the leaders of the other 27 EU member states on a withdrawal agreement that will ensure our smooth and orderly departure on the 29th of March next year. And tied to this agreement, a political declaration on an ambitious future partnership that is in our national interest.
Mr Speaker, this is the right deal for Britain because it delivers on the democratic decision of the British people. It takes back control of our borders. It ends the free movement of people in full once and for all, allowing the government to introduce a new skills-based immigration system. It takes back control of our laws. It ends the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the UK and means, instead, our laws being made in our parliaments enforced by our courts.
And it takes back control of our money. It ends the vast annual payments we send to Brussels. So instead, we can spend taxpayers' money on our own priorities, including the £394m a week of extra investment into our long term plan for the National Health Service.
By creating a new free trade area with no tariffs, fees, charges, quantitative restrictions, or rules of origin checks, this deal protects jobs, including those that rely on integrated supply chains. It protects our security with a close relationship on defence and on tackling crime and terrorism, which will help to keep all our people safe. And it protects the integrity of our United Kingdom, meeting our commitments in Northern Ireland and delivering for the whole UK family, including our overseas territories and the crown dependencies.
Mr Speaker, this has been a long and complex negotiation. It has required give and take on both sides, and that is the nature of a negotiation. But this deal honours the result of the referendum while providing a close economic and security relationship with our nearest neighbours. And in so doing, offers a brighter future for the British people outside of the EU. And I can say to the House with absolute certainty that there is not a better deal available.
My fellow leaders, [ my fellow leaders were very clear on that themselves yesterday. Our duty as a parliament over these coming weeks is to examine this deal in detail, to debate it respectfully, to listen to our constituents, and decide what is in our national interest. There is a choice which this House will have to make.
We can back this deal, deliver on the vote of the referendum, and move on to building a brighter future of opportunity and prosperity for all our people or this House can choose to reject this deal and go back to square one. Because no one knows what would happen if this deal doesn't pass, it would open the door to more division and more uncertainty with all the risks that will entail.
Mr Speaker, I believe our national interest is clear. The British people want us to get on with a deal that honours the referendum and allows us to come again together, allows us to come together again as a country, whichever way we voted. This is that deal, a deal that delivers for the British people, and I commend this statement to the House.