James Heappey was clear in the 2016 referendum campaign that whatever the result locally, he’d consider himself bound to deliver. In 2017 he stood on a manifesto that clearly committed to delivering Brexit and has voted in Parliament at every opportunity to deliver on the will of the people.
Frustrated at the lack of progress on delivering Brexit, James backed Boris Johnson to become our Prime Minister, chairing his leadership campaign in the South West and subsequently being appointed as his Parliamentary Private Secretary. He strongly supports the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal which sees us leave the EU, regain control of our money, borders and laws and, crucially, gets rid of the hated backstop.
There’s some useful information about the Prime Minister’s deal below but one thing is absolutely clear. The only alternative to a Conservative MP in this constituency is a Liberal Democrat committed to scrapping Brexit altogether. It is perfectly possible that on election day, over half the people in the Wells Constituency could vote for a party committed to Brexit and yet we end up being represented by someone who would ignore that majority.
Our country NEEDS to move forward and that means delivering Brexit so that we can get on to other priorities like the NHS, schools and policing.
Key points on the Prime Minister’s new Brexit Deal
Boris Johnson has negotiated a great new deal with the EU. This new deal:
● Ensures that we have a real Brexit. Boris Johnson’s great new deal will ensure that Britain takes back control of its money, its borders, its money and its trade. It ends large payments to the EU budget and will ensure that the whole UK leaves the EU. It will allow us to get Brexit done immediately so we can focus on our other priorities, like the NHS.
● Ends the ECJ's jurisdiction. Our great new deal removes ECJ jurisdiction over Britain's future relationship with the EU and makes clear that we will be an independent country, with our own courts enforcing our own laws.
● Allows us to introduce an Australian-style points based system. Free movement and unlimited EU migration will come to an end with this great new deal. We will be able to develop a new and fairer immigration system that keeps out criminals, and ensures that we can welcome talented people from around the world. We will take back control of our borders and keep our country safe while welcoming the brightest and the best.
● Takes back control of our laws. The EU Treaties will no longer be part of UK law. This means that the EU will not be in control of our national life any more - instead our laws will be written by politicians we elect and fire, and will be enforced by our courts.
● Sets a path to a future relationship based on friendship and trade. Our great new deal sets us on a path to a Free Trade Agreement with the EU. It does not bind our hands, and ensures that we are in full control of our national life - including foreign policy, security and defence. Any decisions on cooperation on foreign policy, security and defence (or any other matter) will be a sovereign choice for the UK.
● Takes the whole of the UK out of the customs union, meaning we can strike our own trade deals around the world. The old deal locked us into the customs union with no way out. Now the whole UK will leave the customs union at the end of the implementation period. This will strengthen our union, and makes it clear that EU control is coming to an end.
This great new deal gives us control of:
● Our laws. It will now be for elected British politicians, not unelected European officials, to decide what laws we follow.
● Our own standards. We will now be in control of areas like employment and environment, enabling higher standards on areas like workers’ rights, animal welfare, agriculture rules that suit the UK’s climate and farming patterns; and fishing rules that rebuild our fishing industry.
● Our borders. We will be able to create a fair, Australian-style points-based immigration system.
● Our money. This new deal stops future payments to the EU and allows us to spend money on our priorities, like the NHS.
● Our security. If this deal passes, there is no prospect of the UK being pulled into an EU army or EU military system.
● Our trade. This deal ensures that the whole UK – including Northern Ireland – leave the EU’s customs union, meaning we can all benefit from new trade deals.
● Our fishing waters. This deal ensures that the UK is in full control of its fishing waters.
Nigel Farage is wrong - this new deal takes back control
● This deal sets the path to a real Brexit, based on a free trade deal. This deal ends the EU’s political control over the UK. It makes clear that the UK will become an independent country, and that the future trade agreement will be one between equals. We take back control of our money, our borders, our laws and our trade. It ends the annual vast annual payments to the EU and ends the jurisdiction of the ECJ.
● This deal will only keep the UK in an implementation period for a very short period. The Withdrawal Agreement Bill that Boris Johnson has introduced ensures that the UK’s sovereignty is protected throughout the implementation period, and he has pledged that – if we have a Conservative majority government - it will only last until the end of December 2020.
● This deal is the fastest way to get Brexit done. If we have a majority Conservative Government on 12 December, we will be able to get Brexit done immediately and be out of the EU by January at the latest. Nigel Farage has acknowledged that the alternative to our plan is to extend our membership of the EU. This would be a disaster and means we will have to pay billions more to the EU, accept ECJ jurisdiction for longer, and obey damaging EU laws. It would also undermine faith in the democratic process.
● Not passing this deal could result in us staying in the EU, possibly forever. Voting for any other party risks Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister - he will spend months dithering and delaying, and then plans to hold two referendums. A vote for Boris Johnson, by contrast, will ensure that we get Brexit done immediately and means we can focus on our priorities like the NHS.
This great new deal takes us out of:
● The EU: the whole of the UK will leave the European Union and its customs union.
● The customs union and single market: enabling us to set our own tariffs, do our own trade deals, set our own laws and rules
● The ECJ’s jurisdiction: removes any ECJ jurisdiction over the UK from the whole future relationship including the FTA. Our courts, applying our laws, will be the highest authority in the land. This great new deal sets a clear future for the UK.
● It puts the whole country on a path to a new Free Trade Agreement with the EU like the one with Canada. This is the right relationship for the future, and one that makes clear that we will be in control of our borders, money, laws and trade like any other independent country. We are not bound to follow EU rules, but gain the freedom to forge our own laws.
● It makes clear that any cooperation on foreign policy, security, and defence will be a sovereign choice for the UK.
● It gives certainty to EU citizens here and UK citizens abroad.
● Ensures that the Irish border remains open and that Northern Ireland’s place in the UK is protected. The protocol we have negotiated ensures that Northern Ireland remains in the UK and inside its customs territory, but keeps an open border with the Republic. To make this work, Northern Ireland will abide by certain EU rules on goods regulation and help to manage the EU’s customs border. However, this can be replaced with a new deal if the UK and EU agree, and the people of Northern Ireland also have an opportunity, every four years, to leave these rules and adopt those of the rest of the UK.