04 January 2019

    Dear Constituent,

    Thank you for your correspondence on Brexit.
    I receive quite a lot of mail regarding Brexit.  Some tell me that we should have a second referendum; others would prefer that we leave without a deal at all.  It is true that referenda are advisory and Parliament is sovereign, but for all that I was for remain it is my judgement that the result and democracy must be upheld.  That does not mean leaving the EU without a deal, which would result in significant damage to our economy.  The Prime Minister has negotiated a deal which protects citizens’ rights, protects our own Union, and means that we will have control of our borders, laws and money, and that we will leave the Single Market, the Customs Union, the Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy – becoming an independent coastal state.  There is a majority in Parliament to be won for this deal save for residual concerns about the Northern Ireland/ Ireland backstop.  It must be stressed that the backstop is wanted by neither side and that a permanent relationship cannot be negotiated under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union.  Nevertheless, it is right for the Prime Minister to seek additional reassurances.  I recognise that concerns have been expressed about uncertainty, but to have unnecessarily rushed to a vote and lost would have caused the greatest uncertainty of all.
    The Withdrawal Agreement, Political Declaration and their companion explanatory notes are available here:
    The best way forward for our country is for us to take through Parliament the Prime Minister‘s deal and I am working towards this.

    Thank you again for contacting me.

    Yours sincerely,

    Mel Stride MP

    MP for Central Devon
    Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General