Brexit - A small price to pay for exit

A great many constituents have written to me to voice their outrage over the court decision regarding Parliament and leaving the European Union.

I think the High Court’s decision was wrong and I fully support the Prime Minister’s position that the invocation of Article 50 is within the executive preserve of the Government.

This country has voted to leave the European Union in an open, free and fair referendum that was won by a decisive margin of over one million votes.

The holding of that referendum was enacted by an Act of Parliament and any final agreement on leaving the EU – especially in repealing the European Communities Act 1972 – will have to be approved by Parliament anyhow.

The Government is, however, appealing this court decision, so there is some room for hope.

When we went to the people in the 2015 general election, the Conservative party made a manifesto commitment pledging to respect the outcome of a referendum on our relationship with the European Union.

The Prime Minister has reiterated again and again that “Brexit means Brexit” and that we are going to make a success of it.

Attempts by elitist and anti-democratic forces to somehow undermine the people’s vote through some sort of back door deal are both unwelcome and unfortunate.

A campaign was fought, the vote was held, the turnout was high, and the voters gave their verdict.

The Government has announced its intention to put forward a Great Repeal Bill in the next parliamentary session.

The point of this bill will be to remove that act from the statute book and give direct legislative effect to all EU laws currently in force.

That will mean it will be up to the democratically accountable representatives of the British people, elected in the Parliament of the United Kingdom, to determine what our laws are, and that no future European Union laws will be applicable in this country.

I pointed out in the Commons the other day that it would be a brave – and I would say wrong – Member of Parliament who would openly vote against the expressed will of the British people.

We will press ahead and get the best deal for the United Kingdom.

Already, the election of Donald Trump in the United States, whatever one may think of him, has opened doors.

The President-elect says that Britain is “at the front of the queue” when it comes to negotiating a free trade agreement, while the Canadian Prime Minister has also expressed an openness to exploring the UK joining the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The doom-sayers and cassandras have all been proven wrong. There has been no economic apocalypse as they predicted.

The value of the pound has gone through a correction, as expected, but there are advantages to that for British businesses as well.

Yes, the price of a holiday abroad has gone up, but I think most will agree that is a small price to pay for sovereignty and independence.

Sir Edward Leigh MP

Gainsborough constituency