Faversham and Mid Kent MP Mrs Helen Whately (Conservative) has asked for the following message about Brexit to be published on the Hollingbourne Village website.
“Just get on with it,” is the phrase you hear most often when talking to people about Brexit, whatever way they voted in the referendum. Britain voted to leave and there’s no going back. Rather than re-running the referendum campaign, it’s time to focus on our future relationship with the EU. It’s time to decide what we want to change and what we want to keep. And it’s time for politicians on all sides to step off their campaign platforms, roll up their sleeves and discuss the implications of the choices we face.
The Prime Minister recently gave a detailed speech setting out her plans. She has always been upfront that we are leaving the single market and the customs union. And she’s clear about the trade-offs: we won’t have the same access to EU markets, but we will be able to have our own trade policy and prioritise exports to the fastest growing markets around the world. We will have more control over our laws and our immigration policy. The EU has been clear that free movement and market access go hand in hand, and it would be misleading to suggest otherwise.
But the EU will still be on our doorstep in Kent, and we want to maintain close ties. It’s also vital that goods pass smoothly across the border, avoiding a return of Operation Stack or a hard border in Ireland. There are some EU agencies, like Euratom and the Medicines Agency, that we may want to remain a part of, and we will have to make financial contributions and abide by certain rules to do that.
There will be opportunities to go further in areas like animal welfare than the EU allows. We’ll be able to form our own agriculture policy that’s better for British farmers – with more support for fruit and vegetable farmers in Kent who contribute to public health by growing fresh, nutritious food.
Ours will not be an ‘off-the-shelf’ deal with the EU and it must stand the test of time. The agreement we reach will be the foundation of our future relationship, which new generations will build and shape in years to come.
Mrs Whately can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured below is Mrs Whately