I have read the Treaty negotiated with the EU and voted for it earlier this week. I supported it because it will protect our trading relationship with the EU while also allowing us to strike deals with the rest of the world. There will be no quotas or tariffs between us and Europe, we will be more able to support our domestic industries, we have agreed to keep our standards high without EU oversight, there will be diplomatic and security co-operation and it will help the UK fishing industry by increasing our fish quotas and giving us control.
All of this will be good for people and businesses in Meon Valley, especially those companies that trade with the EU and want to do more further afield. Though it is a rural area, you would be surprised by how many exporters are based here. I have met a number of them and aim to meet more after lockdown, and I look forward to discussing how the Treaty will help them sell their products around the world.
I know that some will say we had barrier-free access to the EU before Brexit. That is true, but this deal maintains almost all of that access while opening up opportunities elsewhere. At the same time, we are fulfilling the democratic promise that was made not just in the 2016 referendum, but also in the 2017 and 2019 general elections. Whatever your vote in 2016, I think to ignore the decision of the majority of the electorate would have caused huge damage to our democracy and political institutions, which could also have had a long-term impact on our economy.
I know that there is a lot of concern about medicines, especially at the moment. The Treaty will provide mutual recognition for manufacture of medicines, meaning they can be produced and sold on either side of the Channel. In terms of Covid-19, there should not be any delays to vaccines coming from the EU, but in any case we have purchased 100 million doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, almost all of which will be produced in the UK.
The Government has produced a detailed summary paper of the Treaty, which you can view here.