George Freeman calls on PM to consider EFTA if MPs reject her Brexit deal

27th February 2019

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, George Freeman says Parliament must respect the EU referendum vote to leave the political union, and calls on the PM to consider replacing the backstop with membership of EFTA to deliver a Brexit that most voters would support.

Q14. Public trust in politics is dangerously low. Failing to honour and deliver the EU referendum result cannot be an option. I campaigned to remain, but I am 100% committed to leaving; the question is how. Most of my voters in Mid Norfolk said that they wanted to be in the Common Market, not a political union. Given the clear warnings from the life science and agriculture sectors—key industries in Norfolk—about the danger of no deal, I welcome the Prime Minister’s decision to give this sovereign House the vote and ask that if the House votes against, she will consider the European Free Trade Association instead of the backstop, giving us the Common Market 2.0 that most British voters want. [909485]

As I said yesterday, in answer to a question from, I think, our right hon. Friend the Member for Harlow (Robert Halfon), the first aim of the Government and my first aim is to bring back a deal that can command support across the House in a meaningful vote, such that we are able to leave with a deal. The arrangements within the political declaration have significant benefits in relation to issues such as customs, but they also provide for us to have an independent trade policy and to bring an end to free movement. My hon. Friend talks about trust in politics, but I believe that those were important elements of what people voted for in 2016 and it is important that we deliver on that.

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