Theresa May

Full text: Theresa May defends her Brexit deal in the Commons

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 29th 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 £394 million a week of extra investment into our long-term plan for the NHS. 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, on Gibraltar, we have worked constructively with the governments of Spain and Gibraltar – and I want to pay tribute in particular to Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo for his statesmanship in these negotiations.

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