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Stephen Metcalfe MP says he has “serious concerns” about the draft Withdrawal Agreement

22 Nov Stephen Metcalfe MP says he has “serious concerns” about the draft Withdrawal Agreement

Stephen Metcalfe, Member of Parliament for South Basildon & East Thurrock has this evening issued a statement saying he has “serious concerns” about the draft Withdrawal Agreement from the European Union.

In the statement Mr Metcalfe said “I campaigned and voted for Brexit. I did so because I wanted the UK to get the benefits and opportunities that leaving the EU can bring. I believe that people were motivated by wanting control over our borders, money, laws, agriculture and fishing. Nothing has happened since June 2016 to change my mind and I would still do same again.”

The full statement read “I do have some very serious concerns about the Prime Minister’s draft Withdrawal Agreement particularly the open-ended nature of the proposal in its current form.

“It rightly recognises the need for a transition period to allow time for our new trade arrangements with the EU to be implemented. I feel this is required to give businesses the necessary time to prepare and put in place the necessary changes required for future arrangements.

“However, neither the possible extension of the transition period, nor the ‘back-stop’ (should our future arrangements with the EU not be concluded by the end of transition) are time limited.

“Therefore, too much of the current proposal is predicated on trust with the EU. I believe a never-ending transition period, or the inability to leave unilaterally as a sovereign nation is unacceptable as it could leave us neither being completely in nor completely out of the EU.

“I am concerned that the Withdrawal Agreement in its current form removes the incentive for the EU to get a deal done on our settled future trading relationship by December 2020. This risks turning a temporary arrangement meant for implementing a future trading relationship into a settled status. That would undermine the Brexit mandate.”

Mr Metcalfe confirmed that he has made his concerns known to the Government and he is having great difficulty in supporting the Withdrawal Agreement in its current form.